Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked Democrats from starting debate on a Wall Street rules overhaul, the third such move this week, saying they want the legislation changed to prevent future bank bailouts.
Republicans remained united against Democrats in the 56-42 vote, with 60 needed to begin consideration. After the vote, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters the Senate will stay in session all night Wednesday to pressure Republicans, with votes possible any time.
In voting not to start debate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell cited Tuesday’s testimony by Goldman Sachs Group CEO Lloyd Blankfein that he was “generally supportive” of the bill.
“Republicans aren’t about to rush this bill just to make Lloyd Blankfein happy,” said Mr. McConnell, R-Ky. “And not before there’s an ironclad protection against any taxpayer funding of Wall Street firms like his.”
The legislation, based on a proposal by President Barack Obama, is aimed at strengthening oversight of Wall Street in response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The bill’s author, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the banking panel’s top Republican, continued efforts to reach a deal. The two broke off talks in November and again in February, then resumed negotiations after the banking panel approved Dodd’s bill last month on a party-line vote.
“The negotiations we hear so much about are never going to end,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “It’s ‘As the World Turns,’ the soap opera that never ends.” Mr. Reid switched his vote to “no” to allow himself to seek reconsideration of the vote.
Messrs. Dodd and Shelby said Tuesday they were getting closer to resolving their differences on the provision aimed at ending bailouts. Mr. Dodd’s bill would create a mechanism to unwind failing firms whose collapse would disrupt the economy, with a $50 billion industry-supported fund to cover the cost.
The two senators said they were further apart on language to strengthen consumer protections and derivatives oversight.