Senate extends debate on reform bill

May 19, 2010 at 7:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Democrats failed Wednesday to end debate and move to a vote on financial regulation reform legislation a leading Democrat said lacks "key reforms."

Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called for the vote to cut off debate after a hastily arranged meeting among Democrats, some of them upset their amendments had not come up for consideration, The Washington Post reported.

The motion to cut off debate failed on a vote of 57-42, with two Democrats -- Maria Cantwell of Washington and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin -- joining most Republicans in voting against the motion. Two Republicans -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine -- joined Democrats in voting for ending debate.

Cantwell has been urging the Senate to vote on two amendments she has proposed, including one to restore the Glass-Steagall Act -- a 1930s law maintaining separation between commercial banking and investment banking that was repealed in 1999.

Feingold issued a statement saying he favors reinstating Glass-Steagall, The New York Times reported.

"We need to eliminate the risk posed to our economy by 'too big to fail' financial firms and to reinstate the protective firewalls between Main Street banks and Wall Street firms," the statement said. "Unfortunately, these key reforms are not included in the bill."

Reid said after Wednesday's vote Republicans were blocking Wall Street regulation reform. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said during debate Wednesday the bill being considered is not tough enough on Wall Street but "punishes Main Street for the sins of Wall Street," the Times reported.

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