The fate of the Wall Street reform bill is up in the air after the death of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The bill is a single confirmed vote short of the 60 votes needed to get past a threatened filibuster by Senate Republicans.
Even given that most economists seem to agree that the legislation doesn't go far enough in addressing root causes of the current recession, it still goes some way to re-introducing important reforms. The fight is still ahead. As many have noted, including Paul Volcker in yesterday's New York Times and William Greider in a recent Nation editorial, much of the success of this bill will be in its implementation. Moreover, as Greider details, "it will be a stronger bill than either the White House or the bankers had intended, thanks to public anger, popular mobilization and nimble pressure from reformers."
Look at this bill's passage as Round One, Greider counsels. The beginning, rather than the culmination, of reform. And let's not lose this first battle. A new non-profit, BanksterUSA, is staging a campaign to help push the bill through. This is a great way to implore your Senators to support a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the broader financial regulatory bill either by emailing or calling toll-free call at 866-544-7573.
BanksterUSA is also sponsoring a smart and illuminating community project: What do you think of the bill and what grade you would give it if you were a kindergarten teacher grading Congress on its performance? Reply here. Next week, the group will use the comments to help create a Bankster Scorecard.