The death on Monday of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., won't necessarily force a postponement of a Senate vote on financial reform legislation, according to a spokesman for House Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“It is still possible that we consider the conference report (on financial reform) this week,” Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Mr. Reid, wrote in an e-mail response to questions.
Although Mr. Byrd's death temporarily reduces the Senate's Democratic majority to 56, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, is expected to name a Democrat to replace Mr. Byrd.
“There is no restriction on who the governor can appoint and there is no deadline on when that must be done,” said Jake Glance, a spokesman for the West Virginia Secretary of State's office.
Melvin Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Manchin, said he had no information about the governor's appointment plans. “The governor at this point is focused on mourning the loss of our late great senator,” Mr. Smith said.