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Senate Fails to Move Financial Bill to Final Vote

May 19 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Senate today rejected a vote to move toward final action on a bill aimed at strengthening regulation of Wall Street after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Senate’s 57-42 vote for the cloture motion fell short of the 60 approvals needed to proceed to on the bill, throwing into doubt Democrats’ goal of passing the measure this week and moving it to be reconciled with a House plan passed in December.

Democrats said the setback would delay but not dim the bill’s prospects for final approval.

“I remain optimistic,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Doddsaid at a news conference after the vote. “I am confident that we will have another vote on this, that there will be the necessary votes to allow us to have a final vote on the passage of this legislation.” Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid said another vote may be held as soon as tomorrow.

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Democrats, who hold a 59-41 Senate majority, won votes from the two Maine Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Two Democrats, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, voted against cloture and Pennsylvania Democrat Arlen Specter didn’t vote.

The regulatory bill offered by Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, would create a consumer financial-protection bureau at the Federal Reserve, overhaul rules for hedge funds and derivatives, and create a mechanism for dissolving failed firms whose collapse would roil the economy.

‘Changed the Dynamic’

Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who voted against cloture, told reporters that some members of his party who had been inclined to vote with Democrats to end debate changed their minds after the two Democrats refused to vote with their party. He declined to name the Republicans.

“It sort of changed the dynamic,” Corker said.

Cantwell said her vote was contingent on consideration of an amendment that would bar swaps dealers from trading contracts that have been rejected by a clearinghouse. She said she told Senate leadership of her plans this morning.

“There’s lots of amendments I’d like to offer, but this one is so critical to having a clear transparent marketplace that I couldn’t see moving ahead without getting a vote on it,” Cantwell told reporters after the vote.

Capital Requirements

The underlying legislation would push most of the $615 trillion in over-the-counter derivatives to be processed, or cleared, with a third party. Regulators would also be required to impose heightened capital requirements on companies with large swaps positions, and limit the number of contracts a single trader can hold.

To read more, visit: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aN1_yEusVoQE

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