Financial Overhaul Advances in Senate

Harry Reid gets just enough votes to end debate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2010 2:08 PM CDT
A file photo of Sens. Harry Reid, right, and Chris Dodd.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – The Senate today cleared the way—barely—for final passage of the financial regulation bill. The vote was 60-40, just enough to meet the threshold needed to end debate. Harry Reid got help from Republicans Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins, to counteract Democrats Russ Feingold and Maria Cantwell, who wanted more time to add tougher amendments.

The bill writes new rules for complex securities blamed for helping precipitate the 2008 economic crisis, and it creates a new consumer protection agency. Before voting on final passage, senators must still deal with two contentious issues: One would ban commercial banks from carrying speculative trades with their own money. The other would exempt auto dealers from oversight of the new consumer protection bureau.

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