–Senate Majority Leader Reid Sets 5 PM Senate Procedural Vote
–Sen. Reid: Dems Just Want To ‘Begin The Debate’ on Reg Reform
–Sen. Reid: Dodd’s Bill Result of ‘Months of Bipartisan Discussions’
–Senate Minority Leader McConnell: GOP Wants Bipartisan Deal
–Sen. McConnell: Senate Should Not Be ‘Rushed’ Into Bad Reg Bill

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – In a sharp, biting exchange on the Senate floor
Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate will
go forward with a 5 p.m. test vote on financial regulatory reform while
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said additional talks are needed
to reach a bipartisan agreement.

In back to back speech on the Senate floor, Reid said that
Democrats are open to altering the underlying legislation by Senate
Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd.

“All we are asking is to begin debate … . Let’s have that
debate,” Reid said.

Reid said that the Dodd bill is the result of “months of bipartisan
discussions.” The legislation, he said, would end the ‘Too Big To Fail’
dilemma and would prevent future taxpayer funded bailouts of big
financial firms.

Embracing a hard line anti-Wall Street message, Reid said that “the
people on Wall Street are gambling with our money.”

He said the Republicans are “the party that is standing with Wall

McConnell, speaking after Reid, said Democrats are moving too
quickly on the regulatory bill. “We’re not going to be rushed into a
massive bill,” he said.

He said it is important to “slow down and get it right.”

McConnell said a bill is needed that would provide an “iron clad
solution to ‘Too Big To Fail.'”

Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Banking
Committee, are expected to resume the debate on the Senate floor from 3
p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Senate will vote Monday evening to formally begin consideration
of the financial regulatory reform bill drafted by Dodd.

It will require 60 votes to begin the debate and by all indications
the 41 Senate Republicans will vote against this motion.

If the motion to begin debate on the bill fails, this is likely to
intensify ongoing negotiations between Democratic and Republicans
leaders to resolve outstanding issues.

The Senate Banking Committee approved Dodd’s regulatory reform bill
on March 22 on a party-line 13 to 10 vote.

Dodd’s legislation establishes a new independent Consumer
Protection Bureau at the Federal Reserve Board, creates a process to
liquidate failed financial firms, sets up a council of regulators to
oversee systemic risk in the economy, establishes a regulatory structure
for over-the-counter derivatives, requires hedge funds that manage over
$100 million to register with the SEC and creates a new office within
Treasury to monitor the insurance industry.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a narrower bill last week
that tightens regulation on derivatives. Elements of this bill are
expected to be merged with Dodd’s bill when the formal Senate debate

** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **

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