Shelby Predicts Financial Reform Test Vote Will Fail

The top GOP negotiator says Republicans will stay unified and block debate

Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, predicted this morning that today's test vote on financial reform will fail.

Shelby has been working to strike a bipartisan deal with Chairman Chris Dodd, but no agreement has been reached--and Shelby predicted none would be, before this afternoon's procedural vote on whether or not to advance to Senate floor debate on Democratic financial reforms. It will be the first financial reform vote held on the Senate floor.

"I don't believe we'll have a deal today, George. I believe we will have the votes this afternoon," Shelby told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America."

"But Senator Dodd and I, and our staffs, will be meeting, I believe at two o'clock this afternoon," Shelby said.

Republicans have pledged to oppose today's procedural measure; Shelby predicts Republicans will stay unified and maintain the 41 votes needed to prevent Democratic reforms from advancing. He echoed that prediction in a speech at an Independent Community Bankers of America Conference today in Washington.