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Today in Washington – May 4, 2010

Hot day in Washington and things are going to heat up in the debate on the ObamaBailout bill.  Conservatives should focus on understanding the debate in the Senate today on amendments to S.3217, the so called Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.  Expect more talk and floor speeches about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill and the level of BP’s financial responsibility in the disaster in Washington.  Also, the talk of the town this week is the guessing on who the President will pick for Senate consideration to be a Supreme Court justice. 

The issues to watch today are

  • ObamaBailout – The ObamaBailout bill enters the first day of the real work on the bill.  If you don’t believe it is a bailout, you might want to read the analysis of Jim Kuhnhenn, AP writer, who wrote today that the “Senate measure advertised as protecting taxpayers from another Wall Street bailout would still leave them fronting the money if the government moves to liquidate a big failing company like insurance giant AIG.  Taxpayers could end up putting up billions of dollars to cover the costs of dealing with such a firm and be able to recoup that money only over a period of five years, under the Senate’s sweeping overhaul of financial regulation.”  Senators will be offering a flood of amendments today and there may be an agreement to start votes on Amendments as early as this afternoon.  Red State will keep you in the loop the votes commence on amendments to the bill.
  • Fed Transparency Amendment - The Huffington Post reports that there is a controversial amendment, “The White House, Federal Reserve and Wall Street lobbyists are kicking up their opposition to an amendment to audit the Fed as a Senate vote approaches, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the lead sponsor of the measure, said on Monday.”  This is a bipartisan issue championed by Sanders and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC).  Remember when Senator Jim DeMint offered an amendment to audit the Fed and it was blocked in July of last year by Democrat leadership?  It is ironic to note that the day that the White House is teaming up with Wall Street Lobbyists, Dan Pfeiffer has put out a one pager titled “The 10 Most Wanted Lobbyist Loopholes.”   Evidently, there is a Fed loophole that is wanted by those evil lobbyists and the White House. (H/T to Dylan Ratigan’s Twitter feed)
  • Bank Liability Cap Amendment – Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) have an amendment that would bar banks from holding liabilities that exceed 2% of GDP, with the exception of deposits.
  • British Petroleum (BP) – Federal officials have insisted that BP is on the hook for all of the Gulf cleanup costs in the Gulf of Mexico.  Politico Reports that after the President said “let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak; BP will be paying the bill,” the White House backed off after journalists pointed out that federal law sets a $75 million cap for economic damages in offshore spills.  Yesterday,  “the White House issued a more nuanced statement that said the company is on the hook for cleanup costs but not necessarily all damages incurred by private individuals or businesses.”  It would be nice if the White House had a command of the law.
  • Supreme Court – Conservatives should get to know the name Elena Kagan, because she might be the next nominee to the Supreme Court.  Kagan is the current Solicitor General of the U.S. and known as the potential nominee who banned military recruitment from the Harvard Law School, is on the short list according to the Wall Street Journal law blog.  According to the post, “those believed to be on the short list include Kagan, Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Wood, D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland and Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas.

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