Backers of the H.R. 4173 financial services bill have been trying to round up the support they need to finish getting the measure through Congress.
House members voted 237-192 to approve the 2,323-page H.R. 4173 conference report, which reconciles the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act bill.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, was still trying to make sure he will have the 60 votes he needs to get the bill to come up for a vote on the Senate floor, by passing a “cloture motion” that would prevent bill opponents from engaging in a filibuster, or endless round of debate.
Dodd has praised the work House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., did to get the conference report approved by the House.
Frank “is often called one of the smartest and hardest working representatives, and this bill required both of those attributes in spades,” Dodd says in a statement. “Today is a proud day for the House of Representatives, and I am anxious for the Senate to join them soon.”
Over in the Senate, Dodd has been struggling to close the deal.
He and Frank had hoped to have a bill ready for President Obama’s signature by the Fourth of July.
There are 57 Democrats, 2 independents and 41 Republicans in the Senate, and 2 Democrats — Sens. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., are loudly refusing to support the bill, arguing that it would do too little to prevent the kind of financial crisis that erupted in 2008 from recurring.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says she is inclined to vote for the bill.
If Collins votes for the bill, and all Democrats and independents but Feingold and Cantwell vote for a cloture motion, Dodd will have to persuade at least 2 more Republicans to vote for the cloture motion.
Many are expecting that one of the Republican votes for cloture will come from Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., but Brown has refused to declare that he will vote for cloture.