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State of play on the financial reform bill


With Robert Byrd's death, there is plenty of speculation on Capitol Hill on whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can muster the 60 votes needed to break an expected GOP filibuster on the financial regulatory reform bill. The vote for final passage is expected this week.

Last month, Byrd voted with his party -- with three Republicans joining him -- to give Reid the 60 required to advance the bill to Senate passage. But two Democrats, Maria Cantwell and Russ Feingold, defected, saying the Senate bill was too weak.

Today, Feingold made it clear that he's still a "no" on the latest version, which was merged with the House bill in what's called a conference committee.

"As I have indicated for some time now, my test for the financial regulatory reform bill is whether it will prevent another crisis. The conference committee's proposal fails that test, and for that reason I will not vote to advance it," Feingold said in a written statement.

It's also unclear if the four Republicans who voted for the Senate bill will support the new version. Those Republicans are Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Chuck Grassley. (Brown has already indicated he has some issues with a provision in the new bill, saying it amounts to a tax on big banks.)