Dems Inch Closer To Filibuster-Proof Majority On Bank Bill

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WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats are nearing the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass the bank reform bill with the addition of one of two Democrats who voted against the bill the last time.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell said the changes made on the bill’s provisions on financial derivatives will lead her to change her “no” vote for a “yes,” leaving the Democrats on the cusp of a filibuster-proof majority – possibly 61 votes.

"This legislation is not perfect, and I will continue to push for even bolder action,” said Sen. Cantwell in announcing her intention to vote yes. "But this bill makes significant strides toward preventing the kind of financial meltdown that we saw in the fall of 2008."

Two Republicans who voted for the bill before, Maine’s Susan Collins and Massachusetts’ Scott Brown, are also on the verge of adding their consent when the final bill is voted next week.

The credit union lobby is continuing to fight final passage because of the amendment that would direct the Federal Reserve to regulate interchange fees on debit card transactions.

The bill passed the House last week and must only be approved by the Senate one more time for final passage. Both chambers passed the bill before but it was changed enough when the separate versions were combined that the House and Senate must pass it again.

The landmark legislation will create a consumer financial protection agency; set up an oversight and liquidation process for huge too-big-to-fail financial institutions; set up new rules for the trading of financial derivatives; and regulate Wall Street rating agencies for the first time.


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