Why a Democrats-Only Bailout Bill Won’t Fly

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Now that I’ve noted the progressive goals for the next bailout bill, let me add that it’s unlikely a Democrats-only bill, loaded with those very same progressive goals, is likely to pass. And it’s because of conservative Dems. Ezra Klein makes the case:

The defecting Democrats look to be Blue Dogs — which is to say, somewhat conservative, generally vulnerable, Democrats — and members of the Black and Hispanic caucuses. A more liberal bill might get the latter two. It will lose 90 Republican votes. It won’t get the Blue Dogs. And you’ll lose a few dozen more Democrats who needed the bipartisan cover. My hunch is leadership is relying on market chaos to turn a few votes and trying to figure out the mixture of cosmetic changes and superficial giveaways that will push them over the finish line.

Which is to say, despite the intelligent commentary that suggests a radically different approach to the bailout bill might be wise, there’s a relatively small chance we will get a radically different bill. We’re more likely to get a bill that the House leadership has tinkered with enough — throwing in a progressive goal here, adding an earmark/sweetner there — to get 15 more votes.

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