A true day of infamy!

Financial reform and fiscal policy…

9:45 am – President Obama speaks on fiscal policy. At the opening of the inaugural meeting of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

10:00 am – Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on the financial crisis. The hearing should run through mid-afternoon.

10:00 am – Fed Chairman Bernanke and OMB Director Orzsag testify on fiscal matters. At the first meeting of the president’s fiscal commission.

12:30 pm – Senate party conference meetings. Following last night’s Senate vote on financial reform, in which Democratic leaders failed to invoke cloture (i.e., close debate) on the question of whether to proceed with debating the bill, both parties must now decide how to proceed. Most observers expect that although Republicans opposed the bill last night unanimously, that unity may not last very long, as many members have a desire to eventually vote for some form of financial reform legislation. Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee and their staffs have been writing an alternative proposal to offer on the Senate floor, though when and even if that comes at this point is unclear. Senate Democratic unity was set back yesterday by one member, Sen. Nelson of Nebraska, voting yesterday with Republicans against moving forward. The ongoing discussions today, and partiuclarly the conference lunches at mid-day, will set the tone for the next steps in the process.

Afternoon – Vote on financial reform? Most observers expect Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) to call for another vote moving forward with Senator Dodd’s financial reform bill as soon as later today, potentially followed by yet another vote tomorrow if today’s vote does not hit the 60 votes required. Following the first cloture vote yesterday, subsequent reconsideration of that vote can be called for at any time.

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