WASHINGTON BUREAU — Senate Democrats today inched closer toward passage of H.R. 4173, the financial services bill, when Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., said he would vote for the measure.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that, even though Brown, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. – a Democrat who once leaned toward voting against the bill – now say they will vote for letting the bill come up for consideration on the Senate floor, H.R. 4173 supporters remain 1 vote.
Supporters of a bill need 60 votes in the Senate to prevent a filibuster, or endless round of debate by bill opponents, and allow the bill to come up for a vote.
In mid-June, Democrats and independents had 59 seats in the Senate. Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., has said he he will vote against the bill, and H.R. 4173 supporters lost another vote June 28, when Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., died.
Reid said today that he still hopes to complete work on H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, by Thursday.
Reid could get a 60th vote in favor of consideration of the bill from Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.