By Vicki Needham - 04/20/10 02:25 PM EDT
On the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had his say. "I'm heartened to hear that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest. And in my view, the progress we've seen over the past few days is proof that I was right to raise concerns about this bill when I did."
Meanwhile, Reid argued that the current bill is "the results of months of bipartisan meetings, investigations, negotiations and consensus. But our Republican colleagues insist on pretending this is a partisan effort."
"This bill we'll bring to the floor put an end to taxpayer-funded bailiouts," he said. "It protects consumers. But our Republican friends insist on pretending this bill does the opposite."
All 41 Senate Republicans signed a letter opposing the legislation because they say it would allow for "unlimited bailouts" behind a $50 billion fund set up to help failing financial firms unwind. They have pointed out other provisions in the bill that could leave open the possibility that the Treasury Department or FDIC could provide help to firms that take unnecessary risks and fail.
Meanwhile, Democrats have argued that the multi-billion fund was included in the measure at the insistence of Republicans as part of yearlong negotiations over the bill.
The Treasury Department and the White House are opposed to the fund but Senate Democrats haven't committed to removing it although Dodd said on Monday that there are other ways to help firms.
Two moderate Republican senators -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine -- said Monday night that while they oppose the bill in its current form they are optimistic that the necessary changes can be made to move forward.
Senate Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and lead Republican negotiator Bob Corker (Tenn.) have said progress is being made. On Monday night, Corker predicted that the bill could garner 70 votes.