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After Fallow Week in Senate, Reid Plans to Begin Voting

One week since Senators last cast a vote on the floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hopes the chamber will start voting Wednesday on the first of scores of amendments to the financial regulatory reform bill.

Keeping with the theme that has dominated the financial reform debate, Reid also blamed Republicans for stalling progress and refusing to agree to even noncontroversial measures.

“We had amendments that their Senators offered yesterday that we were willing to accept, but they refused to let us do that,” Reid said on the floor. “But that’s nothing usual.”

Reid lamented that Tuesday’s adoption of a resolution honoring “classic car day” was the chamber’s lone accomplishment for the day. He noted the long list of priorities awaiting action, including a host of nominations, and complained that in the past two weeks “we’ve accomplished nothing, virtually nothing.”

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is managing the financial services bill on the floor, indicated the chamber could pass a handful of amendments this afternoon. Dodd encouraged Members to work with his staff on their proposals.

“This time between now and the votes ought not to be dead time, but time spent advancing this piece of legislation,” Dodd said.

Reid has maintained the bill must be off the floor by the end of next week in order to clear time for other measures, including a small-business loan bill and a food safety bill.

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