After returning from the congressional recess late Monday still shy of the 60 votes needed to pass financial regulatory reform legislation, the chamber was expected to first debate legislation to create a $30 billion small-business lending fund.
The Senate is ultimately expected to pass the final regulatory reform bill agreed to by the conference committee, which the House passed shortly before adjourning for the Fourth of July recess. It was unclear if Senate leaders would wait for the West Virginia governor to appoint someone to temporarily fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Sen. Robert C. Byrd before debate proceeds.
Democrats still need to confirm at least one more vote in order to guarantee passage of the bill.
On Monday Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts announced that he would support the bill because of changes made during the conference including taking out a proposed tax on large institutions.