Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a procedural motion Monday night to end debate on the financial regulatory reform bill, a move that puts the measure on a path to final passage later this week.
If Reid can muster the 60 votes needed to end debate, a vote on final passage could come Thursday. Senate Democrats are eager to pass the politically popular measure and move on to other high-priority bills before adjourning for the Memorial Day break, including a supplemental war spending bill and a package of tax extenders and unemployment benefits.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs predicted Monday that the Senate would wrap up consideration of financial reform by the end of the week.
The bill is aimed at preventing the kind of financial meltdown that rocked Wall Street in 2008.
"I think the bill is a very strong piece of legislation in changing the rules that govern our financial system," Gibbs told reporters Monday. "Obviously, the next steps will be working through those differences with the House. And I think we'll have a bill to the president's desk somewhat shortly."
Asked whether a conference report would be ready by July Fourth, Gibbs said: "That sounds about right."