Unlike most of her colleagues, she approves of a new method of paying for the legislation, which involves sunsetting the 2008 bailout program. "I'm delighted to see the end of the TARP program and that's what this accomplishes," she said.
The final Senate vote on financial reform won't occur until after next week's August recess. Assuming Collins' vote is secure, Democrats will need anywhere between two and four Republicans to support the legislation to overcome a filibuster. The best case scenario for them is for Robert Byrd's seat to be filled in the next several days, and for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to hop into the "yes" column. (She told reporters today that she remains undecided for now.)