Washington (CNN) – After Senate Democrats' second consecutive failed attempt Tuesday to take up a financial regulatory reform bill, a moderate Republican from Ohio indicated for the first time that he is planning to switch his vote and support opening debate on the bill if a deal isn't reached soon between the top negotiators for each party.
The American people "want us to get something done," Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said in explaining why he would eventually join Democrats in insisting that the bill be debated on the floor.
Voinovich, who is not seeking re-election in November, would not say exactly how long he would wait before switching his vote but said, "I have an idea of how much time it takes to cut a deal." He also said he expects "a whole bunch" of other Republicans to make the same decision.
So, how are the talks going?
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, a Banking Committee member who at one point was the lead GOP negotiator on the bill, said Tuesday he is "far less optimistic" that the top negotiators, Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican Richard Shelby, will cut a deal anytime soon.
"I just know where they are policy-wise and I just don't' see it," said Corker. "I don't think anytime in the near future there's going to be a bipartisan agreement."
Corker, who last week described himself as "relatively depressed" about the course of the talks, refused to detail why he thinks the negotiations will not be fruitful or which side he thinks is to blame.
Despite the negative prognosis from his colleague, Sen. Shelby, R-Alabama, emerged from Tuesday's vote to say he was off to another meeting with Dodd. Publically, Shelby has been upbeat, suggesting talks are making progress. But he has never detailed how close he and Dodd might be to a deal.
Asked if Dodd is offering any flexibility on the issue of creating a consumer watchdog agency – something Republican leaders identified Tuesday as their top concern - Shelby said no.
"They've been pretty steadfast in their view of the consumer agency," Shelby said. "We think we have some constructive recommendations."
But Dodd questioned Republicans' sincerity.
"They don't want a consumer protection agency at all. Let's be honest about it," the Connecticut Democrat said.
WHAT???? A Republican thumbing his nose to his boss Rush Limbaugh??? The sky is falling.
Analysts have been saying for over a week that several Republicans were eventually going to vote for a bill, so why all this theater? Washington is so different from the rest of America.
This senator knows that his party(GOP) is blocking a reform bill that will help main street for political reasons and he is ready to switch his vote from no to yes. The American people are watching with keen interest what is happening on the hill and no amount of rhetorics will erase the truth. The GOP needs to realize that main street is hurting and has been hurting for so long. We can not afford another bail out of companies when their executives are being given millions in bonuses while the company files for chapter eleven.
Republicans loves Wall St!
A lone human from a pack of wolfs.....
I wonder if Wall Street has bought the Republicans. In the Goldman Sachs interrogation today, they "acted" as though in favor of increased regulations, and then they all voted against beginning the debate process to create legislation to regulate. Something is wrong with this picture. They are neglecting the people who really need their protection – Main Street....NOT WALL STREET.
No more government regulators use what you already have RON PAUL 2012
Thank you george my god you might like people would you like to be a dem you might feel good about your self
How noble of the rethugs. Protect the rights of big business to continue putting it to the consumer.
He is clearly not a true republican and not on the peoples side. a publicity seeker and future unemployed.
Look all you people that are Beating the repub's up about the fillibuster must not understand how this all works. The only way to get any bipartisan work done right now is with the fillibuster. Once the bill moves to the floor for debate it is over. Once on the floor 51 votes is all that is needed and the democrats will stop talking and immediatly vote eo approve the bill. The only way to keep actuall discussions and amendments to improve the. Bill is with the fillibuster.