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.
He is doing Ohio proud. Thank you senator V from one of your constiuents!
you best be careful senator less you wind up on 'boss" Limbaugh's pooh-pooh list. You know full well you're NOT supposed to agree with the Dems on ANYTHING at all. Haven't you read your FoxNews talking points lately?
It will be refreshing to finally see a republican put people ahead of greed and fear. I only pray they don't pull their game of intimidation on him now.
A moderate republican!!! Omg, there's a dying breed.
We need more of these...more moderates on BOTH sides of the aisle. Nothing is getting done with this hyper-partisanship.
I think it's the honorable thing for Sen. Voinovich to vote to start the debate on this important issue. I agree when he says the American people "want us to get something done." We need to hear a frank and spirited discussion of all the issues on the Senate floor.
I realize most legislation is crafted by committees and staffs, but sometimes Americans need an open debate – such as the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates about slavery and the nation's laws, prior to the CIvil War!
If he does vote with the democrats vote him out in Nov. Enough already.
Doing "something" just to be able say you've "gotten something done" is an idiotic reason for doing anything.
Do it right, or don't do anything at all.
At last a republican with some nerve. One who puts what needs to be done ahead of the party line. Alsolutely remarkable. Way to go senator-perhaps some of your fellow repubs will follow suit and actually send a bill to the floor for debate instead of trying to kill it by fillibuster. what a concept-debate instead of posturing for votes. You senator could be the start of the reform needed in republican thinking. I hope it catches on and instead of trying to derail every democratic idea that both parties cn put aside differences and actually get some relevant legislation passes. Best of luck to you.
Thank you Senator Voinovich, thank you. The American people, the REAL American public, are sick of the whiny politics. Seriously, we know you don't like President Obama, but we need to get things done and now. We need more sincere Republicans who get that they were voted in the help America. When people say that the 'majority' don't want this or that they forget that President Obama put into office by the majority. He is trying to keep his campaign promises and we appreciate it.
These guys have only one thing in mind – getting votes in November. They have no idea what is in the bill nor do they care. At this point it is all about playing politics. If they need to lie to make it look good then llies it will be. The statement by Dodd "Let's be honest about this" is a joke. Not one of these guys would know honesty if it bit them in the butt.
Can you spell w u s s?
We don't need any more government agencies creating a bigger government and a bigger deficit. Just bring back the Glass–Steagall Act which mandated separate commercial and investment banks.
Vote this weak Republican out of office. Why are these weak ones giving in to this horrific administration, and horrific leadership in the house and senate? These are the very individuals that we need to vote out of office this November. If they still have two years left in their terms, then we must vote them out in November 2012, along with barry.
About time.... and it takes a Repub who isn't up for reelection to take the plunge into reality
time for Voinovich to leave office If he doesnt take his role as an elected official representing the citizens of Ohio and their interest he should step aside now Why wait until November We deserve good representation not a lame duck attitude towards us
Senator Voinovich is a cool head in a sea of Republicans gone wild. Every single thing the Republicans are doing is with an eye toward the 2012 elections. Why don't they all – Republicans and Democrats alike – try to work together and do something beneficial for their constituents and the American people. I'm sick of this.
stick with it Dodd. Hopefully some of thesee guyswho are not running again will just do the right thing and open it for debate. The party of No really sucks . Let's at least debate.
Vogroinobich-the most prolific flipflopper in the Senate hoping the door won't hit him on the way out.
Way to stand up for your party.
When will people see this whole mess started with Clinton.
That's when they lowered the requirements for getting a home loan. As you can see big mistake.
A large majority of Americans wants financial reform, to prevent another round bank bailouts. Wall Street doesn't want reform, because it would reduces their profits (financials made over a third of the profits of all industry in the last years, an outrageous fraction). What counts more, the votes or the money from Wall Street, to buy stupid votes?
I am glad that financial reform is discussed in the run-up of an election, to make the votes count more, but I am doubtful about if they can outweigh the money.
Hey Voinovich. I'm in Fairfield, OH.
I'm proud of you!
Thank God for him. This bill is so desperately needed and can't afford to be stalled again by the self-serving Nut GOP. A shame this man is retiring but I guess that frees him from the loons in his party.
You're not a Republican then!!! Listen to this statement Obama made in the comment below. 'IF YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS WERE IN ARIZONA MANY YEARS AGO AND NOW IF YOU GO OUTSIDE YOU MAY BE HARRASSED. ARIZONA GOVENOR PASSED AN ILL CONCEIVED BILL." If this is not a moron there never was one. People since the state of Arixzon became a state have been issued birth certificates so they have ntohing to worry about. HOW IGNORANT IS IGNORANT.
Senator Voinovich is a statesman. It is a pity he is retiring from the Senate. I met him many years ago when he was a Cuyahoga County official. I liked him then, and my opinion has not changed. One can be a Republican or Democrat and still see good in the other side's position.
What bill exactly he is going to support? The one that will be read after is is voted for? What a bunch of Senators we have, voting for half backed things. These people never had a "real job" outside politics and do not understand how the economy, financing, etc. work. The bill is very flawed in many respects, and better be stopped until is done with advice of people who has had experience in the real world!
If only all politicians would do like Nelson from Nebraska....desire to read the bill before voting. Instead, Obama continues to chastise those who don't allow him to fufill his agenda. We will regret these men who rush to vote on something they don't understand.