The sudden death of West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd cast a shadow on Capitol Hill, leaving most lawmakers unable to move forward with legislation until after the Independence Day recess. The timing of Byrd's death left pundits uncertain about whether the crucial Senate seat would be left vacant until a special election, or whether West Virginia law gives its Democratic Governor the power to appoint a successor to fill the remainder of Byrd's term.
Even with three pledged Republican votes, Democrats may need help from an interim appointee to help the financial reform bill escape filibuster. Retailers and consumer groups support the bill, which could reduce credit card merchant account fees and create an independent financial watchdog agency within the Federal Reserve.
About the Author
Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.