Reid to force repeated votes to end filibuster of Wall Street reform

A senior Democratic aide said Reid would schedule votes to end a Republican filibuster of the reform bill on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

“We need to keep the pressure up to get a deal,” said the Democratic aide.

Reid held a live quorum call on Monday evening to bring senators to the floor, interrupting their schedules and sending a message to lawmakers who voted to block debate of Wall Street reform.

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Thirty-nine Republicans and Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat from Nebraska, voted against a motion to begin debate.

Reid also voted against the motion because of a procedural technicality that will allow him to bring up for reconsideration.

Democratic aides said Reid would call senators to reconsider the motion to begin debate of the reform bill on Tuesday.

Reid also plans to file a motion Monday evening to end the GOP filibuster. That would set up a third vote on Wednesday to end the filibuster. 

A second Democratic aide said leaders wanted to focus public attention on GOP “obstruction.”

Republicans, however, said the maneuver could backfire if centrists believe that Democrats are sacrificing bipartisan negotiations to play politics on the Senate floor.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re in a position today to vote I think prematurely when there were discussions underway,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe, a centrist Republican from Maine, after voting Monday against the Democratic motion to begin debate.

“It wasn’t necessary to have a vote today because I think the discussions are going along in good faith,” Snowe said.