Durbin: Democrats Have 60 Votes to Advance Financial Reform

Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:03pm

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Thursday that Democrats now have the 60 votes needed to end debate on the financial reform bill.

“We feel that we’re at 60, fingers crossed, but you’re never certain,” the Illinois Democrat said of the 2:30 p.m. procedural vote.

Democrats predicted they would have the support of Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), both of whom voted against a motion to cut off debate on Wednesday. That motion failed 57-42.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) issued a veiled rebuke of Brown after Wednesday night’s procedural defeat, alleging the recently elected Senator misled him about how he would vote. On Thursday, however, Reid had a softer touch.

“He’s new here. He’s trying hard,” Reid said of Brown. “I’m sure it was a misunderstanding.”

Durbin said that “we’ve talked to everyone” to line up the support for the Thursday vote. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who was absent from Wednesday night’s vote after his Tuesday primary election loss, is expected to vote in favor.

“We feel that we have the votes together, and I hope we’re right,” Durbin said.