Where have we heard this before? "I couldn't support the bill in its current form. I am absolutely not throwing in the towel. I have no plans to support the current legislation. I hope we'll get back to the negotiating table."
Let's just get back to the negotiating table and spend more time talking about maybe eventually passing a financial reform bill, the kinder, gentler way of Republican obstructionism as practiced by Olympia Snowe for months, and months, and months in health insurance reform. It could have been different, as last week Corker broke ranks with his party, saying that Republicans had made "a very large strategic mistake" in not working in the Banking Committee toward a bipartisan deal. He's now back in line after straying.
Last week Mr. Corker, of Tennessee, said he expected a bill would pass, infuriating Republicans and many bank executives who thought he was making it easier for Democrats to push the bill through.
No Republican has yet signaled support for the bill and Mr. Corker's latest comments could reflect a new GOP resolve to oppose it unless changes are made.
For his part, Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd says he's still open to a bipartisan deal, and the White House open, but not particularly optimistic:
Axelrod made clear that invitation exists from the Obama administration too, but he sounded far from optimistic about the chances of a bipartisan financial regulatory reform package.
“We’re certainly going to invite them to participate with us,” Axelrod said of the Republicans. “There’s enormous pressure from the financial industry, huge army of lobbyists on the Hill. The Republican Party has generally been very responsive to that lobby and one hopes that some of them will break loose here and say we can’t allow the country to get into the same situation we were in the last few years because of the reckless speculation on Wall Street,” he added.
The difficulty on financial reform is that Dems don't have the same options for going it alone as they did in health insurance reform this year. Since the lesson of the need for Republicans to cooperate on major legislation hasn't stuck with Corker, this will be a major test for the administration and Dodd.