Reid readies to cut off bipartisan talks on Wall Street reform bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has put a four-day limit on bipartisan talks over Wall Street reform.

Reid said he will schedule a vote on Wall Street reform for Monday, whether Republicans have agreed to a deal or not.
“It’s on the calendar and I’ll move to proceed to that,” said Reid, who added that Democrats have spent three months negotiating with Republicans.

“I’m not going to waste any more time of the American people until they come up with some agreement,” said Reid.

“We’ll have a cloture vote on Monday, 5:15 [p.m.],” he said, in reference to a vote to cut off a GOP filibuster.  

This would be the second time in six weeks Democrats pull back from talks. Democratic negotiators cut discussions short in March after White House officials intervened in the belief they could pressure Republican senators to support the bill.

Reid’s Thursday announcement casts in doubt the possibility of a deal between Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the panel’s ranking Republican.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a pivotal swing vote, said on Monday that negotiators should spend three or four more weeks working out a compromise. She expressed doubt that a bipartisan agreement could be reached in a few days.

Democrats and Republicans on the Banking Committee said they were very close to a deal this week but they have said this for weeks.

On Thursday, lawmakers said Democrats had not yet made any significant concessions to Republicans, such as dropping a $50 billion resolution fund to liquidate troubled banks.

“There’s been plenty of time, we don’t need another three months like we did on the healthcare bill,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic conference and a member of Banking. “The bill reflects huge amounts of input from our Republican colleagues.”