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Unified GOP To Block Senate From Debating Wall Street Reform

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Mitch McConnell has rounded up the necessary votes to block Democrats from bringing Wall Street reform to the Senate floor, a spokesman for the Senate Minority Leader said on Friday afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Thursday he planned to bring the bill to the floor next week where it would be debated and amendments added. McConnell has now persuaded 41 Republicans to vote against debating reform.

'We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to continue to subsidize this 'too big to fail' policy. We must ensure that Wall Street no longer believes or relies on Main Street to bail them out. Inaction is not an option," McConnell writes in a letter to Reid that was provided to HuffPost.

Democrats have been battering McConnell all week for his firm opposition to the Democratic reform effort.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley told HuffPost that Reid will be moving ahead regardless.

"Congratulations. I hope they feel good," said Manley. "They've got 41 signatures on a weak, watered-down letter that simply calls for more negotiations. If they are at all serious, they will simply let us go to the bill next week and let the amendment process begin."

Manley said the bill will be brought up for a vote on a motion to proceed to debate later this coming week.

Read the full letter:

Dear Leader Reid:

We encourage you to take a bipartisan and inclusive approach, rather than the partisan path you chose on health care.

A bipartisan bill should address the damaging financial practices of big Wall Street firms and government-sponsored entities that led to unprecedented taxpayer bailouts and caused our government to take on enormous amounts of debt. We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to continue to subsidize this "too big to fail" policy. We must ensure that Wall Street no longer believes or relies on Main Street to bail them out. Inaction is not an option. However, it is imperative that what we do does not worsen the current economic climate or codify the circumstances that led to the last financial crisis.

We are united in our opposition to the partisan legislation reported by the Senate Banking Committee. As currently constructed, this bill allows for endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street and establishes new and unlimited regulatory powers that will stifle small businesses and community banks.

This is a complex issue that could have unintended consequences on job growth, the ability of Americans and business owners to access credit, and the United States' role as a worldwide leader in innovation and capital formation. The consequences of this bill will reverberate across our economy for years to come.

We urge you to support the bipartisan negotiations by the Banking and Agriculture Committees. We are confident that the Senate can overcome political tensions and provide a bipartisan approach to financial reform this year.

UPDATE: McConnell's office sends along a statement from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who had been the holdout, that she will indeed vote to filibuster a motion to proceed: "If the Majority Leader brings the partisan Senate Banking Committee bill to the floor next week, Senator Collins will vote against a motion to proceed."

UPDATE II: Reid spokesman Manley says that Democrats aren't backing down. "Bring it on," he says of the GOP filibuster threat.

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