Ready or not...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, announced that he will try to move to a financial regulatory reform bill on Thursday afternoon, but if Republicans object, he will force a key test vote Monday at 5:15pm, to try to move forward -- whether compromise talks are complete or not.
Reid, says, he's waited long enough, has given Republicans months to work out a compromise with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-CT.
As for those compromise talks, Sen. Richard Shelby, top Republican on that committee and lead negotiator with Dodd, told Fox, "Where we are, we don't have a deal yet . We're in serious negotiations over some very important subjects like too big to fail, derivatives, consumer (protection) agency and so forth. I believe we will get a bipartisan agreement."
But to hear Reid and his fellow Democrats in leadership, Republicans have no interest in a compromise. The trio, Reid, Senate Whip Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer - vice chairman of the Caucus, continued to pound away at Republicans, calling some GOP criticism "lies."
"The minute these things come out of the mouths of some of our Republican colleagues , we rebut them. And we rebut them again and again," Schumer said, "Fortunately these lies are not taking hold."
When asked if there's any concern that these political attacks could dampen prospects for success, as intense negotiations between Dodd and Shelby continue even today, Reid showed none.
"This is very simple," Reid said, referring to Republicans, "If they're willing to go forward with reform, that's what we'll do. But I'm not going to waste any more time."
Reid needs at least one Republican to join with his 59 Democrats to proceed onto the bill. It is unclear if ALL 41 Republicans will hang together, though, so Monday night's vote could be a bit of a nail-biter. Sen. John Thune, R-SD, a member of leadership, when asked if all 41 Republicans would hang together, said Wednesday night, "I'm not entirely confident, but I'm hopeful."