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One of our excellent Members of Congress, Senator Merkley, called out the hypocrisy of the GOP in the Senate on the financial regulation bill. Here's how he lays bare the blatant two-faced nature of the GOP:

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On Monday afternoon, the Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to debate Wall Street reform in public on the Senate floor.

Yet Republicans say their 41 members are united and will oppose the motion, in order to encourage Democrats to continue negotiating with them behind closed doors.

Condemning closed-door negotiations yet voting to prevent public debate is the height of hypocrisy, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) told HuffPost on Monday. "By voting against cloture, Republicans are voting to keep Wall Street negotiations behind closed doors, demanding changes to the bill without public scrutiny. Instead of closed-door deals, they should support open floor debate," said Merkley.

Right on, Senator Merkley. Thank you for telling like it is.

If the GOP holds together as a bloc against the financial regulation bill today, they're seeking to torpedo what is a strong bill in favor of a weaker "bipartisan" bill.

Senator Shelby confirms this by saying there won't be a deal before the bill vote today, although he'll be meeting with Christopher Dodd at 2pm today regarding a possible deal:

Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said he wasn't optimistic that senators would reach an agreement to move forward with the legislation. He did express confidence that the Senate's 41 GOP members would stick together to block a motion to proceed to debate on the bill.

"I don't believe we'll have a deal today. I believe we'll have the votes this afternoon," Shelby said during an appearance on ABC when asked about this evening's vote on Wall Street reform.

Also, given that Dodd has continued to work with the Republicans throughout the entire weekend in hopes of a deal, shows that he'd still be willing to work with them even if today's vote fails because Shelby is still optimistic about working out a bill with Dodd:

Unlike on health care, Republicans continue to insist that they want a deal with Democrats. "We continue to work. I believe we're going to get a good bill," he said. "I think that conceptually we're very close together."

Democrats shouldn't be aiding and abetting the GOP by trying to work on a weaker financial regulation bill if this one fails. If they know they're going to get a weaker financial regulation bill after the vote by continuing to work with the GOP, then today's vote might very well be kabuki theater for the benefit of Democratic partisans like us.

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:41 AM PDT.

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