Senate Majority Leader Reid today filed a cloture motion to bring a financial regulatory reform bill to the floor, setting up a key test vote early next week.
Senior Republican lawmakers Wednesday night played down the chances that Senate Banking ranking member Richard Shelby would reach a deal with Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd before the cloture vote.
Shelby was more optimistic today, saying agreement is possible in coming days. Any agreement could be included in a manager's amendment or a substitute amendment once the bill reaches the floor. Reid, too, said a deal is still reachable.
Reid has said the floor will be open to amendments from both parties, a process that could tie up floor time for two weeks.
After financial regulatory reform, Reid said the Senate will move to a food safety bill passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Reid also wants to move a small business jobs bill before the next recess. The measure would give small firms increased access to loans, overseas markets and federal contracts.
The Senate Budget Committee's budget resolution will soon be ready for floor action, but the timing will depend on the status of other bills.
House floor time will be devoted to a defense acquisition bill and legislation that would give voters in Puerto Rico a say in whether the U.S. commonwealth should retain that status, Democratic leadership aides said.
This article appears in the April 24, 2010, edition of National Journal Daily.