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Democrats Negotiate Path Forward on Financial Reform

A clutch of Senators huddled on the floor Thursday to negotiate the path forward on the financial regulatory reform bill.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) were all seen on the floor with their staff, presumably discussing the handful of pressing amendments that remain to the sweeping legislation.

Democrats fell two votes short of the 60 votes needed to end debate on the measure Wednesday night, and Reid announced Thursday that the chamber would vote again this afternoon to try to move toward final passage. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who was absent Wednesday after his Tuesday primary election loss, is expected to be back to work Thursday. Democrats will also have to pick off at least one Republican to clear the 60-vote hurdle.

While Reid hoped to wrap up consideration of the bill by the end of the week, a vote on final passage could be punted to next week.

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