Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is pushing his colleagues to complete work on an overhaul of the financial regulatory system by the end of next week. Reid said the slow-moving debate on the legislation needs to accelerate. He cited in particular the need to extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies that will expire at the end of this month, along with provisions that prevent deep cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.
Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, D-Ky., have not reached a formal agreement on how to handle amendments to the financial regulatory overhaul, and specifically on whether some will require 60 votes for adoption instead of the normal simple majority. Reid favors requiring just a simple majority of those present and voting. Reid says needing 60 votes makes it so much more difficult and he thinks that's unnecessary.
The first amendment likely to come up for a vote is one from Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that would explicitly bar use of taxpayer funds for future financial bailouts. The amendment is likely to have broad bipartisan backing.