UPDATE 1-New snag for US Senate financial regulations bill

(adds details)

WASHINGTON, July 7 (BestGrowthStock) – West Virginia Governor Joe
Manchin on Wednesday put off naming a successor to the late
Senator Robert Byrd, which could further complicate passage of
financial reform legislation in the U.S. Senate .

Manchin told reporters he wants the state’s attorney
general to render an opinion on the state election law, which
is thought to forbid an election to fill Byrd’s unexpired term
until 2012. He said he hoped the opinion would come next week.

“I will not move forward on this appointment or the
succession process … until the attorney general’s opinion is
rendered,” Manchin said.

A delay in naming a replacement for Byrd, a Democrat, could
complicate Democratic efforts to pass the overhaul of financial
regulations, an important priority for President Barack Obama.

Democrats are several votes short of the 60 they need to
advance legislation in the 100-seat chamber.

Without a reliable Democratic vote in Byrd’s former seat,
backers of the overhaul will probably have to win the support
of at least three moderate Republicans.

Republican senators Susan Collins and Scott Brown backed an
earlier version of the legislation and have indicated over the
past week that they may support the final version, which has
already passed the House of Representatives.

Two other Republicans senators who backed an earlier
version, Olympia Snowe and Charles Grassley, have not indicated
how they will vote.

Manchin said he wanted the state to hold a special election
soon for a replacement to fill Byrd’s seat. The Democratic
governor, who said he would not appoint himself as interim
senator, did say he would be interested in running for the seat
in a special election.

Once the attorney general makes his ruling on the election
law, Manchin said he would speak with state legislators about
the process.

If a decision is made to hold a special election, Manchin
said he would make an appointment for an interim senator to
hold the seat until the election.
(Reporting by Deborah Charles and Andy Sullivan; Editing by
David Storey)

UPDATE 1-New snag for US Senate financial regulations bill