The cloture vote on the conference report for the financial reform bill will happen this morning, with passage expected by noon. Republicans will have to decide if they want the entire 30 hours of post-cloture time at that point. If they do, the bill wouldn’t get final passage until Saturday, and Harry Reid looks prepared to stay until then to make that happen. My suspicion is that the Republicans will allow a final vote tomorrow and make it out of town for the weekend.
Also tomorrow, the Senate will hear about a new member, as West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will announce an interim replacement. He or she won’t be installed until early next week, but Reid is already anticipating that by scheduling a procedural vote on the standalone unemployment benefits extension for next Tuesday.
“If Governor Manchin does what he has indicated to me he will, and we’ll have a new senator to replace Sen. Byrd, then we’ll vote Tuesday morning sometime on the unemployment extension,” Reid said.
The majority leader has been forced to wait for Byrd’s replacement because Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) declared his opposition to the bill before the Fourth of July recess and a GOP “no” vote could not be flipped.
It’s unclear if they’ll get unanimous consent and just pass that bill after hopping past the cloture vote, or if Republicans will delay the final passage just to draw things out. Wait, did I say unclear? Clear, is what I meant. So by the end of the week, benefits will be extended. But a new tier will not be created by the bill, meaning that the 99ers are on their own. And they increasingly make up a large portion of the jobless.
New jobless claims did drop today to 429,000.