Senate could vote on Wall Street reform this week: Reid

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Senate could hold a final vote this week on the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday.

“If our Republican colleagues stick to their strategy of indefinite delay, I will — like I said last week — file cloture as soon as tonight so we can hold a final vote this week,” said Reid on the Senate floor as it reconvened, referring to a cloture motion to wind up debate on a bill.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley told Reuters that Reid likely would begin the process later on Monday of wrapping up debate.

Another Democratic leadership aide voiced confidence that Reid could muster the needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate on Wednesday to limit debate to an additional 30 hours. After that period, the Senate would be clear to vote on passage.

A Republican aide said it remained unclear if Reid would get the needed 60 votes, but acknowledged it was possible and a final vote on passage could come this week.

A key issue will be whether enough senators believe the chamber can complete consideration within the next few days of amendments to the bill that are still being discussed.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday the administration expects to have a financial regulation bill for President Barack Obama to sign into law soon.

“I think there is some reason to believe that the Senate will conclude its business this week,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

“Obviously, the next steps will be working though those differences with the House and I think we will have a bill to the president’s desk somewhat shortly,” Gibbs said.

The House of Representatives approved a Wall Street reform bill in December that embraced many of the reform proposals put forward in mid-2009 by Obama in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the devastating 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Although a final vote is expected soon in the Senate, lawmakers have yet to settle disputes on regulating over-the-counter derivatives, curbing risky trading by banks, and deciding on how much power states should have over banks.

Resolution on these topics will be needed before the Senate can approve the massive Democratic bill that has been under development for months now.

The Senate bill also will need to be merged with the House version.

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(Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan, Thomas Ferraro and Caren Bohan; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

Senate could vote on Wall Street reform this week: Reid