As anticipated, Senate Republicans stood together and blocked the Senate from starting debate on a game changing financial services reform bill.
The Democrats needed 60 votes to bring the bill -- crafted by Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd -- to the floor to start the amendment process. But early Monday evening the final vote fell short, 57-41.
One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against the bill. Sen. Nelson was concerned that the treatment of derivatives in the Dodd bill would force Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway to post additional collateral against its $63 billion derivative portfolio.
The vote is a set back for Democrats who were betting adverse publicity about Goldman Sachs and their role in the mortgage crisis would compel some Republicans to vote for a motion to proceed with the bill and start debate. Democratic leaders plan to have more votes this week, showing that its party wants to reform the way Wall Street works and protect consumers.
"We will not tolerate efforts to slow-walk this process or water down this reform because it is too important to middle-class families in Nevada and across American," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Meanwhile Senators Dodd and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., are expected to continue working on a compromise.
After the vote, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Dodd has been involved in negotiations with Republicans for months. The Ohio Democrat said the GOP initially intended to stall the bill for months. They want "to delay and kill the bill," Sen. Brown said.