Brown will give reforms a rough ride

John Dimsdale Jan 20, 2010
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Brown will give reforms a rough ride

John Dimsdale Jan 20, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: There’s a new senator in Massachusetts. Senator-elect rather. Republican Scott Brown won the seat held for the better part of five decades by Ted Kennedy. His campaign focused on blocking some of President Obama’s agenda. And now it’s up to Senate Democrats to find a way to proceed without its filibuster-proof majority. Marketplace Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale joins us live this morning with the fallout and a look forward as well. Good morning, John.

John Dimsdale: Good morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: So what changes do you expect when the 41st Republican takes his seat?

Dimsdale: Well it’s definitely going to be a less-friendly legislative atmosphere for the Democrats. Moderates especially, especially those up for re-election this year, will be less likely to sign onto the White House’s agenda, because they now have evidence that voters think the president is over-reaching with his proposals to impose changes on health care, banking, energy industries. But Thomas Mann at the Brookings Institution says there will be a limit to the president’s accommodation.

Thomas Mann: I do not expect Obama to roll over and play dead. His instincts have always been to try to do deals with Republicans, but he’s found them not very willing to participate.

Chiotakis: Hey John, how will the Republican win affect the push for financial regulatory reform? That’s been a big thing, right?

Dimsdale: Yeah. Well Scott Brown opposed the bank fees that the White House wants to levee on big banks to force them to pay back the loans they got from the government.. But Mann points out that that fee is really popular and he expects the Democrats to stick with it. The compromising might come with the proposed consumer financial protection agency, which Brown is also against. Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Banking Committee, who’s leading the negotiations over that bill in the Senate, is floating the idea of limiting the reach of the consumer agency — maybe trimming its independence, putting it under the Treasury Department. That’s more likely now in the face of stronger Republican strength in the Senate.

Chiotakis: Marketplace’s John Dimsdale in Washington. John, thanks.

Dimsdale: Thanks.

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