White House predicts 'strong bipartisan vote' on financial legislation

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday predicted that the Senate would approve a financial regulatory overhaul bill with "strong bipartisan" support.

No Republicans support the bill in its current form and bickering over the bill has continued between both parties, but Gibbs remained confident a cadre of Republicans and Democrats would back the bill. 

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"I think we'll have a strong bipartisan vote on financial reform in the next several weeks," he said at his daily press briefing. "I think there is a desire to get something done."

Gibbs's comments come amid reports that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to bring the bill to the floor.

Though all Republicans currently oppose the bill, the names of several GOP senators have been floated who could support the bill.

Gibbs said little on one issue driving partisan debate, SEC civil fraud charges brought against banking giant Goldman Sachs. He did say that the timing of the charges was not choreographed with the reform debate.


Democrats have used the allegations to push for passage of the bill. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Monday that the bill would have likely prevented Goldman from creating the financial product at the center of the charges.

The press secretary expressed confidence that a vote would happen in the coming weeks and said he was hopeful that the bill would come to the floor this week, despite GOP calls to slow the process down and return to the negotiating table.

Republicans have pointed to a $50 billion fund included in the bill intended to help wind down failed firms, saying it could authorize permanent bailouts. 

Democrats want to push forward with the bill, saying that they negotiated the bill with Republicans for months, and have rejected claims that the fund would create a permanent bailouts.

Gibbs left the door open to compromising with Republicans by removing provisions in the bill, including the fund, but reiterated that compromise would not happen if it does "something to water down this legislation on behalf of the banks."

Gibbs reiterated the fund was not in the White House's original proposal for financial reform last year, but was included by Dodd.