From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
The Senate comes back at 2:00 pm ET, with an opportunity for senators to talk about any issue. At 3:00 pm, it resumes consideration the Financial Regulatory Reform bill. And at 5:00 pm, the Senate takes what is commonly referred to as a "test vote."
The actual terminology is: "the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3217."
This vote is just a first step to bring the bill to the Senate floor and begin debate. If Democrats fail to reach the needed 60 votes as if expected now, they can continue negotiations with Republicans and try again. A miss for Democrats today does not kill the bill.
Still, Democrats are almost daring Republicans to block today's procedural vote. "Today, Republicans face a major choice: Will they stand up for the American people, and join us to hold Wall Street accountable for the reckless gambling that cost 8 million Americans their jobs and millions more their economic livelihood? Or will they follow the marching orders they've been getting at their secret, closed-door meetings with Wall Street executives, and continue to protect Wall Street?" said a spokesman to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"We remain eager to work with Republicans who are sincere about reforming Wall Street, and we are hopeful for bipartisan agreement on this important effort. But there are no two ways about it: a vote against even opening debate on holding Wall Street accountable is a vote to protect Wall Street."