Wednesday, members of the Senate were only three votes short of 60 votes needed to end debate on the sweeping financial regulatory reform bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. The Associated Press reports three Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, joined 39 Republicans in voting to delay final action. The final vote was 57 to 42.
The bill, which would create a new financial agency focused on consumer protection, new rules and procedures for closing failed or failing financial institutions, and stiffer regulation of derivatives trading, among other things, is likely to pass, but the delay gives Republicans a chance to step up their attacks on the parts of the bill and the amendments to the bill that they don't like.
Reid is expected to call for another vote Thursday. Small businesses are eager to see if the final version of the bill will contain the relief from Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b) compliance for which they have been holding out for years.