Vote counting has been halted in the race for Illinois' 8th Congressional District, where Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean is trailing Republican Joe Walsh by a slim 350 votes. Clerks in Lake and McHenry counties say they'll wait until later this month to tally the final ballots. Bean gained ground late last week after provisional and absentee ballots were included in the tabulation.
If Bean can't overcome the deficit, she might have another job waiting for her. Politico reports this morning that the suburban representative's name is being floated to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent agency created to protect vulnerable consumers as part of the federal financial reform package. This would be a problematic hire. Bean, known to many on the Hill as "Wall Street's favorite Democrat," worked hard to weaken the regulatory agency as it was being constructed, authoring an amendment that preempts stricter state regulation of national banks on a case-by-case basis. The American Bankers Association lauded her efforts in a memo to its members. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, she's raised millions from the financial and insurance industries she'd be asked to police. While she deserves praise for making tough votes on health care reform and the stimulus package, it'd be difficult to recommend Bean for the new position.
UPDATE (11:39 a.m.): Wonk Room has more on a possible Bean appointment.