WASHINGTON BUREAU — New England apparently has given Senate Democrats the Republican votes they need to get H.R. 4173, the financial services bill, to the floor.
Senate Democrats say they believe they now have the support they need to secure passage of H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act bill, in the Senate.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said at 8:22 p.m. today that Democratic Senate leaders have learned that Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, will support the bill.
In the Senate, supporters of a bill need 60 votes to prevent opponents from using a filibuster, or endless round of debate, to keep the bill from coming up for a vote. The death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and the decision of Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., to oppose the bill, forced H.R. 4173 backers to scramble to win over enough Republicans to get the bill through the Senate.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has been in the fold for awhile, and Sen. Scott Brown, D-Mass., announced earlier today that he too would support the bill.
Members of the House voted 237-192 to pass H.R. 4173 June 30.
“Today is a good day for Main Street America,” Dodd said in a statement after Snowe indicated that she would vote for H.R. 4173. “With the support of Senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Scott Brown, Wall Street reform is a step away from heading to the president’s desk to be signed into law…. These colleagues demonstrated how bipartisanship is supposed to work. When they had concerns about the bill they worked with members of both parties to see that they were addressed, and in return they were all able to make significant contributions to this bill.”