–Senate Majority Leader Says ‘Negotiations Aren’t Moving Forward’
–Sen. Reid: GOP Calls For Negotiations Are ‘Stalling Tactics’
–Sen. Reid: Sets 12:20 Wednesday Vote On Starting Reg Debate
–Senate Minority Leader: Dodd Bill Has Many ‘Unintended Consequences’
–Sen. McConnell: Must ‘Tighten Up’ Language

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday
that the Senate will hold a third test vote at 12:20 p.m. today to
formally begin debate on a financial regulatory reform bill.

In comments on the Senate floor, Reid continued to blast Senate
Republican leaders for trying to keep the debate behind closed doors
rather than on the Senate floor.

“What are my friends afraid of?” Reid asked.

He said the negotiations between Senate Banking Committee Chairman
Chris Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the
Banking Committee, have gone as far as they can.

“Negotiations aren’t moving forward,” Reid said, adding that
Republican calls for continuing negotiations are just “stalling

Reid said Democrats will hold votes “as long as it takes” to begin
the Senate debate on financial regulatory reform.

Speaking after Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said
that Democrats continue to try to rush financial regulatory legislation
through the Senate.

McConnell said that the Democratic bill is poorly drafted and could
have seriously negative unintended consequences over many sectors of the
American economy.

“The language in this bill is ambiguous,” McConnell said, adding
that senators must “tighten it up.”

The Senate is expected to spend most of Wednesday debating
financial regulation before the 12:20 p.m.

In the two test votes this week, Senate Republicans united to
defeat a Democratic motion to formally begin debate on a financial
regulatory reform bill.

The Senate voted 57 to 41 to begin the debate, but sixty votes were

Both Dodd and Shelby have said they’ve been narrowing their
differences on the legislation, but have not said clearly if they think
an agreement is on the near horizon.

The Senate Banking Committee approved Dodd’s regulatory reform bill
on March 22 on a party-line 13 to 10 vote. All Democrats supported the
bill and all Republicans opposed it.

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. Parts of this bill are
expected to be merged with Dodd’s bill when the formal Senate debate

The House passed a sweeping financial regulatory reform bill in

President Obama has said that financial regulatory reform is one of
his main goals for the rest of this legislative session.

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

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