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H.R. 4173: Harry Reid Starts the Cloture Clock

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H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is now officially on its way to the Senate floor.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee announced Monday that he believes H.R. 4173 supporters have the votes needed to pass a “cloture motion.”

A cloture motion paves the way for a bill to come up on the Senate floor by eliminating the risk that opponents will seek to block it by engaging in a filibuster, or endless round of debate.

The House already has passed H.R. 4173.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has filed a cloture motion.

Under Senate rules, a cloture vote could occur around 11 a.m. Thursday, or one hour after the Senate convenes, officials say.

Bill opponents have been hoping that Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., might vote against H.R. 4173.

Bill supporters may have reduced that possibility by letting Sen. Tom Harkin, R-Iowa, add an amendment classifying most indexed annuities as state-regulated insurance products, rather than securities to be regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, to the H.R. 4173 conference report.

Nelson has been a strong supporter of classifying indexed annuities as insurance products, and he spoke at a gathering of indexed annuity distributors and producers in March, when the indexed annuity community organized a “fly in” to lobby against SEC efforts to get jurisdiction over the products.


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