Washington (CNN) - As Democrats prepare to bring the contentious issue of financial reform to the Senate floor next week, Republicans say they have enough votes to block the proposed financial reform bill unless changes are made.
Senate Republicans say all 41 GOP members will vote against a parliamentary procedure to allow the current bill to proceed.
"If (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid tries to bring this bill to the floor next week, I will vote against that. I want to force negotiations to continue," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key moderate, told CNN. "There were serious negotiations going on. The only way I can force people back to the table is to vote against this motion to proceed."
Democrats say they will still attempt to move forward with the bill.
"If Republicans want to vote against even allowing a reform bill to go the floor they are more than willing to do so," Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told CNN.
In a letter Friday to Reid, the Republicans said they are united in opposition and added "We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to continue to subsidize this 'too big to fail' policy. We must ensure that Wall Street no longer believes or relies on Main Street to bail them out. Inaction is not an option. However, it is imperative that what we do does not worsen the current economic climate or codify the circumstances that led to the last financial crisis."
Democrats say they are prepared to start debate but would need at least one GOP Senator to vote with them if Republicans filibuster.
"At this point, I say to my colleagues, bring me your ideas, let's work on this together, let's debate the bill, and pass strong Wall Street reform to protect our country from the kinds of abuses that lost so many their jobs, their homes, and their life savings. But let's not engage in nonsense," Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd said in reaction to the Republicans' letter.
Senate Democratic leaders and administration officials are working hard to try to persuade several Republicans, including Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), to break ranks and vote with them.
Most of the week Democrats have been strongly rebutting a charge by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that the current proposal would actually ease the way for companies to get a government bailout.
"This bill has been written specifically to end any notion of any kind of a bailout by the American taxpayer again," Dodd said Thursday. "Our bill stops bailouts by imposing...tough new requirements on Wall Street firms. Being too big and too interconnected will cost these firms dearly. And should that not be enough, our legislation, regulators can use the new powers in our legislation to break these firm up before they can take down the economy of our country."
Meanwhile, on Friday the President Barack Obama pushed for action on the issue in an event with a group of his economic advisers and in an e-mail sent to his supporters.
Specifically he said there needs to be strong reform and more accountability regarding the trading of the complex risky investments called derivatives which were one of the major causes of the economic meltdown.
"I hope we can pass a bipartisan bill, but bipartisanship cannot mean simply allowing lobbyist driven loopholes that put American taxapyers at risk. That would not be real reform," he told the meeting of his advisers.
Asked by a reporter whether he would veto legislation if the derivatives reforms are weakened, Obama said "I want to see what emerges. But I will veto legislation that does not bring the derivatives market under control in some sort of regulatory framework that assures that we don't have the same kind of crisis that we have seen in the past."
- CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.
How do you spell Republican? Let's see. "N" "O" ....... which should make the Tea Party faithful very happy. Get the government to come to standstill, and it won't take long to realize that doing nothing fits the Republican MO for the last ten years. Your are right – the Republicans did let George Bush burn through over $2 Trillion in surplus that Clinton left in the Federal Treasury when he left office, and the Republicans spent this country into the current financial crisis by pushing two wars on the American Tax Payer. The Republicans gave Goldman Sachs Billion of Dollars from the TARP Fund, and now, the SEC has indicted Goldman Sachs for one of the great con jobs of the 21st Century. When the Republicans sit on their hands, their hands smell like poop, which is the best description of the Bush Years I have ever heard.
Why would anyone expect the republican refuseniks to abandon their policy of obstruction at this point? It is a well known fact that republicans have been bought and paid for by the big banks and big business. It is time to send all republicans packing unless they immediately cease their obstructionism.
Here we go again.........YAWN!!!...........NEXT!!!!!
Doesn't Mitch McConnell look like he has been sucking on a green weenie?
Mitch. Can you say, "Bought and paid for?"
You can (perhaps) debate the particulars of this bill, but Mitch and his ilk are not doing that - they are playing politics as usual and using their favorite pollster's "talking points" to do it. It doesn't quite rise to the level of LuntzGate, but it does show just how much of what we hear is driven not by intelligent debate and ideological opposition, but by the desire to score points and get re-elected. Period. Besides, isn't it supposed to be the time when a bunch of old white men are no longer telling the rest of us what to do and say?
The GOP is trying to protect Wall Street from regulation by pretending to want harsher regulations against them...and what they are proposing is already in the regulations. They are masterful at muddying the waters and confusing stupid people. This is just a tactic to protect their wealthy buddies on Wall Street!
GOP = Grand Obstructionist Party.
They take so much money from these greedy corporations, of course they are going to oppose regulation.
If Collins would vote against the bill it must come from Mars instead of left field.
The Senate filibuster rules must be eliminated! It is actually very easy to do. Only then can we have a true representative democracy where a simple majority means something.