In deploying the tactic often used by Senate Republicans to slow or stop legislation, Merkley said he had grave concerns with the "jobs" bill which would ease the rules for capital formation for small companies.
"We are the cooling saucer," said Merkley. "The House bill is full of problems for investors that will create a market places where investors could be deeply damaged."
Merkley was the second Democratic senator to voice opposition to the legislation which passed in the House last week with a bi-partisan 390-23 vote. Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also took to the floor hours earlier arguing its deregulation went too far.
After that short exchange Reid set up two votes for judicial nominees for Thursday afternoon and adjourned the Senate until 9:30 a.m.