Apr 22, 2010 Comments Off Pat Dollard
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he will not wait for Democrats and Republicans to reach a bipartisan compromise on a Wall Street reform bill, pledging to move ahead with the first key test vote Monday.
â€œIâ€™m not going to waste any more time of the American people while they come up with some agreement,â€ Reid said. â€œThe games of stalling are over.â€
Reid made the announcement as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican, remain locked in talks on the bill. Both senators have said they were progressing towards a deal, but Republicans have suggested that they would need more time than Democrats are willing to give.
â€œIt is very complex, very, very involved,â€ Shelby said. â€œI wouldnâ€™t want to rush it and make a lot of mistakes.â€
Shelby said he would recommend that all Republicans oppose the first procedural vote, known as a motion to proceed â€“ a move that would prevent the Senate from the debating the bill.
Democrats have made a political calculation that at least some Republicans will feel compelled to back the bill Monday, even without any changes â€“ and if they donâ€™t, itâ€™s the GOP that looks bad. If they fail on Monday, Democrats would likely head back to the negotiating table with Republicans to reach a deal, and continue to force votes until at least one Republican joins them in opening the debate.
â€œWe feel we have the upper hand,â€ Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
Dodd said Wednesday that he had presented a package of fixes to Shelby, and was waiting to hear back. Shelby briefed the Republican conference Wednesday afternoon, but the members had varying reactions to the emerging compromise, making it difficult for the GOP to reach any kind of quick consensus on how to move forward, according to people present.
But already, at least one of the likely Republican targets, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), said the Dodd-Shelby talks should be allowed to proceed.
â€œSignificant progress is being made,â€ Collins said. â€œA divisive vote on cloture this early would be a mistake.â€
Reid will attempt to open debate on the bill later Thursday by asking for unanimous consent from the Senate. At least one Republican is likely to object, forcing Reid to file a cloture petition and setting up the first test vote Monday.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36218.html#ixzz0lqxGJiQf