The full U.S. Senate could move ahead with formal debate on the financial regulation package early next week. Key members of both parties say they are close to agreeing on the main elements of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is planning a test vote before moving to debate. If Republicans object Congressional Quarterly reports Reid will file to limit debate on the motion to proceed. That vote could happen Monday evening, but Democrats will need all members of their caucus and at least one Republican to vote for cloture.
Once debate does begin, Senate aides say it could last at least two weeks. Under that timeline, the Senate could pass the bill by mid-May at the latest, giving the House two weeks to approve the latest version and send it to President Obama's desk before a planned one-week Memorial Day break.