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Republicans Reject Debate on Financial Reform for a Third Time

Senate Democrats for the third day in a row on Wednesday failed to clear a key procedural hurdle to consider financial regulatory reform legislation, leaving the issue idling.

The chamber rejected a motion, 56-42, to begin debate on the overhaul, with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) again joining Republicans in voting against the measure. Sens. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) did not vote. At the last minute, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his “yes” vote to “no” — a move that allows him to bring the motion up again on Wednesday, in accordance with Senate rules.

Reid filed a separate cloture motion on the financial reform bill Tuesday evening, which set up a potential 1 a.m. vote on Thursday morning. Members have spread word that the chamber could be in all night Wednesday, with Democrats forcing even more procedural votes as they attempt to persuade Republicans to allow the legislation to come to the floor. Republicans, however, have maintained that the issue should not come up until a bipartisan deal has been announced.

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