At his weekly press availability this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted that several Republicans will break from their party tomorrow morning, likely thwarting a financial reform filibuster.
“A number of senators, Republican senators, have told me they will vote for cloture,” Reid said.
If Reid’s right, it’s all but certain that Democrats and Republicans will avoid a repeat performance of their dramatic floor fight several weeks ago, and the Senate will move swiftly to a vote on final passage. Earlier in the press conference, though, Reid hedged, suggesting it’s possible the GOP will vote unanimously not to end debate.“I hope that we have some Republicans when we attempt to invoke cloture,” Reid said. “If we don’t we’ll take the next step.”
Pressed, Reid declined to articulate what strategy he’ll pursue if Republicans filibuster.
Republican leaders, meanwhile, used some of their harshest rhetoric to date when they described the financial reform bill on the Senate floor.
“Increasingly it looks like it may have to be chocked up as another Washington takeover, this time of Main Street,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) at the Republican leadership’s weekly press conference. His statement was echoed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But McConnell made no suggestion that his caucus will hold together during tomorrow’s key vote.