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What We’re Reading – Senate Financial Reform Bottleneck

July 8, 2010

The most popular article on knowledgemosaic this morning is a Reuters story about how the delay in filling the seat of former and late lamented West Virginia senator Robert Byrd complicates Democratic efforts to overcome the threat of a filibuster and pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

What is the bottom line here? The West Virginia governor, Joe Manchin, is a Democrat. Presumably, he would support the goal of appointing a replacement quickly, partly to assist in efforts to pass the legislation but also because no state should lack political representation.

However, in West Virginia, as elsewhere, personal ambition often trumps, well, everything.  The state election appears to forbid a new election to fill Byrd’s seat until 2012. Manchin apparently wants to run in this election himself, and so is waiting for an opinion from the attorney general on whether the election can or should be held sooner.


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