Amendment voting has started in the Senate. Four amendments, including preventing companies from being bailed out by the federal government, and dropping the liquidation fund from the bill, all quickly passed with 90+ votes.
One of the juicier amendments yet to come up is the "break up the banks" amendment (originally a separate bill) sponsored by Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufmann. With only 51 votes required to pass amendments to Wall Street reform (or at least I think it is only 51 votes), it would actually have a shot.
A New Way Forward is conducting a whip count on the amendment. Here are their current numbers:
Break up the banks whip count
Lean Yes: 9
Looking a bit deeper into the count, there are four Democrats who are opposed and one Republican in favor. With 59 Democrats in the Senate, 51 needed for passage, and with the White House likely opposed, Brown and Kaufman can spare five more Democrats and still pass the bill.
With 39 Democrats undecided or with unknown positions, the odds aren't great. So far, one in every five Democrats who has gone on record opposed the amendment, which projects out to another eight opponents. That is three more than Brown and Kaufman can afford to lose, although they could make up that gap by picking off a three more Republicans.
To make matters worse, even if Brown and Kaufman find 51 votes, White House opposition might prevent the amendment from even receiving a vote. This is the same fate that might befall the "audit the Fed" amendment from Bernie Sanders. The White House could convince Senator Reid not to include either of these as among the Democratic amendments which receive a vote.
Its a longshot, but not impossible. If you want to help whip on Brown-Kaufman, click here contact and your Senator.