Washington (CNN) - Top Senate Democrats have said they intend to keep the Senate in session Wednesday night as they try to formally open debate on a financial regulatory reform bill.
"We think it's critical to get to the debate. We think Wall Street reform must get done and must get done now," said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland. "We suspect that (Republicans) want to weaken this bill."
Earlier Wednesday, Republicans turned back efforts to launch Senate debate on such a measure. It was the third vote in 48 hours on the motion and, for the third time, unanimous Republican opposition decided the outcome.
Cardin said he didn't believe Democrats would force a vote to break a GOP filibuster until Thursday morning at the earliest. He indicated that Democratic leaders believe they are running out of time, however, to pass financial reform before members turn their attention to the looming midterm elections.
Ideally Democrats and Republicans "should work together," Cardin said. But unless the Senate starts debating the bill, "we'll never be able to consider it in a timely manner."
Cardin's announcement of a potential all-night Senate session came one day after President Barack Obama challenged Republicans to allow public debate on proposed financial reforms, telling an Iowa crowd that it's "not right" for the GOP to prevent the proposal from coming up in the Senate.
GOP senators say the proposal is too broad and needs to be tightened in closed-door talks with Democrats before coming to the Senate floor for debate.
"The American people deserve an honest debate," Obama told an Iowa crowd.
"You should not have to have to wait one more day."
Obama said Senate Republicans "unanimously blocked efforts to even begin debating reform."
"They won't let it [the bill] get on the floor to be debated," he said.
"It's one thing to oppose reform, but to oppose just even talking about reform in front of the American people and having a legitimate debate? That's not right."
The proposed reforms are intended to prevent another Wall Street meltdown like the one that led to the U.S. recession, Obama said.
"We can't let another crisis like this happen again," he said. "We can't have such a short memory that we let them convince us that we don't need to change the status quo."
Senate Democrats have accused their Republican counterparts of stalling momentum on the bill in an attempt to water it down.
One moderate Republican, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, has indicated he will switch his vote from "no" to "yes" if bipartisan negotiations on the bill between fail to reach agreement soon.
Updated: 4:01 p.m.
I think that finally the GOP is digging its own hole for Novermber. The American people can now see what a filibuster means. It delays getting things done and prevents debate. Isn't that what we sent these men and women to Washington to do. After an open and transparent debate the bill can be defeated. But to let the American people go bankrupt and be thrown under the bus for the richest people in America is something that will sink it and make the GOP look like what they are......The Party of Just Say No.
Yes, let's make the obstructors do some work. Sheesh
Enough of this crap. Just more of the democrats making up boogie monsters to try and frighten less educated voters. The best thing the government can do is get out of the private sectors way. The only real boogie monster is in Washington D.C. STOP with the doomsday fear spreading crap. PIG FLU, CLIMATE CHANGE, MEDICAL COLLAPSE, GIVE US A BREAK. DEAL IN REALITY.
Good. Keep them there 24/7 until there is a financial reform bill. All of us average folks want to see wall street have to live by some rules...finally!
I'm giving up on the Republican Party! I've been involved with the party for over 25 years and I'm giving up on them after the last year of fight the progress of US reform. I'm going Independent and voting against any Republican.
these crooked Dems always work best in the dark of night. Nov. can't come soon enough.
Obvious political theater by the inept DemocRATS. I guess it never occurred to the fools to compromise with the Republicans to get a bill both would support. I COMMEND the Republicans for holding firm in their Party-of-NO-MORE-SOCIALISM stance!! Way to go!
Don't worry Harry Reid, your approach of "my way or the highway" is going to get YOU the highway this November. Keep up the good work....
Force-Something the Democrats have become very good at. Keep it up, you're out of here come November.
Haha. Grow up and suck it up GOPers. You wanted to play hardball and they came to play this time. Nobody wants to hear your hypocritical whining that this is some sort of unfair or unethical tactic.
Isn't it funny how the Democrats are trying to put the blame on the Republicans! I am not a fan of the Republicans, but I have to stand up for them with this particular situation. The Democrats are the ones who were in cahoots with Wall Street. Chris Dodd was a major player! He is such a hypocrite!!
Greece economy has failed and IMF is giving them $8 billion to stop the disaster that will bleed our economy as well as Euopean countries. Republicans will be held responsible if our market fails also while the World is looking on.
What is wrong with Republicans, this is very serious. I know they wanted our Great President to fail, but come on not at the expense of our country. They are literally obstructing every move Obama tries to make if its not some sort of racism then what the hell is it
Keep those greedy republicans in session until they drop. They are a disgrace to this country.
"Why don't they actually change parts of the bill and come up with something a little more bipartisan than continue to try and push this one through?"
They already did that. The bill that will be up for debate was generated in a bipartisan manner. This game the GOP is playing is merely an attempt to force further concessions to benefit their donors and lobbyists and to score political points by (a) getting people to believe outright nonsense like you obviously do based on your post and (b) avoid having to use their misinformation and lies, like the nonense McConnell spewed the other day that was completely debunked, because even though they know some of their base would believe them if they said yellow undies are the only way to survive "nukular" winter, they also recognize that a large portion of the populace wants this bill debated and doesn't buy into the fabricated dishonest issues the GOP is raising.
I would like to know what the Republicans need in this in order to vote for it. Let them be clear as to what the bill is currently lacking. As I listen to all that is out there (okay some of it because there is a lot), I have to wonder how far off are these two groups.
Republicans are on the side of Wall St. There would not have been a reason for Minority Leader McConnell and Sen. Cornyn to have a closed door meeting with Wall St. execs if they were really for reform.
It makes me sick that the republicans are holding up this very important legislation. This is not how Washington is supposed to work!
GOP noooooooooooooo GOP nooooooo again noooooo let me repeat nooooooo
The House bill (section starting on page 506) gives $4 TRILLION in 'bail-out' authority. The Senate version (section starting on page 1302) they are strong-arming now removes that audatious cap and expands companies, partnerships, and individuals eligible as 'too big to fail' minus calling them that.
Go Democrats! US Taxpayer pockets for Wall Street bailouts are deep! Dig in!
the American people deserve a serious debate over the issue and no more of the democrats counting the wrinkles on their dog's balls as a vote. the hypocritical democrats are hiding all the funds that they got from wall street under their matress and from their mistresses so that they will have something to spend when they get tossed out on their collective rumps in Nov. none of the clowns can support anything that is not tied to a pork barrel, how can they assume that they can regulate the wall street thieves? nevermind.
Apparently, FL was under a rock during the very real financial meltdown. Don't you remember the bailouts, banks collapsing, credit markets that small businesses rely on freezing up, etc... Yeah, all of that was the result of too much government regulation. Seriously, dude, put down the pipe.
It is amazing that if you're a Republican the answer to everthing is NO. How do they ever order anything in a Restaurant?
How many in your party?........NO
Would you like something to drink?......NO
Are you ready to order now?.......NO
What dressing would you like on your salad?......NO
How would you like that cooked?.......NO
Are you ready for dessert?........NO
Could confuse your average waiter.
Would you like to make things better for middle class America?....NO
Would you like uninsured Americans to have insurance?......NO
Do you even care about the poor little sheep that vote for you?.....NO
Would you like to continue to get big contributions from the insurance industry, pharmacutical companies and Wall Street?............oh you can bet the answer is a big YES to that one.
Here's a better question: Since Republicans blame Clinton for relaxing financial regulations, why didn't they pass reform during the 6 years that they held all 3 branches of government. Even when Democrats won a majority in 2007, they didn't have enough votes to override a veto. Anyone who can count knows the GOP did nothing about his for 8 years! So, why are we surprised that they want to do nothing about it now?
McCain acts like a 2 year old and says he vote against everything until Obama leaves office. I hope Obama is in office until McCain grows up but I doubt 8 years is long enough for that to happen.
To all you GOP'ers...We all live by rules, why can't Wall St. These new regulations are ment to address mainly the derivitive market which has been ignored and not kept up with. The SEC was run by one of Bush's 'capitalism at any cost' political appointments. You get what you wish for.
The people supporting the Republicans in this are laughable. When the Dems worked on healthcare, you accused them of doing so behind closed doors. Now that the Republicans want to work on financial reform behind closed doors, that's the way to go. Not one of you is willing to hear the truth...that McConnell met with 21 Wall Street bigwigs to discuss the best way to water down this bill. Republicans – obstructionists and do nothings.