Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) announced Monday he will vote for Wall Street reform when it comes up for a final vote, all but assuring Democrats the 60 votes they need to pass the legislation.
Brown voted for the bill when it first came up for a vote, but had opposed a provision in the conference report that would have imposed $19 billion in taxes on financial firms to pay for the bill.
“I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax. As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started,” Brown said in a statement on Monday. “While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote.”
Democrats need 60 votes to move the legislation through the Senate. Fifty-seven Democrats support the legislation, and Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) has also indicated she will support the bill.
Democrats were forced to delay a final vote after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (W-Va.) left them one vote short. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is expected to appoint a temporary replacement soon, and that new senator would also be expected to vote for Wall Street reform.
Another Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), is also seen as a likely ‘yes’ vote.