The Senate voted 60-40 on Thursday afternoon to end debate on the financial reform bill, making it likely the sweeping measure will pass the Senate within days.
The vote represents a victory for President Obama and Democratic leaders, who fended off major changes to the legislation sought by Republicans and liberal Democrats during four weeks of Senate debate.
The vote clearing the way for passage reversed a closer vote Wednesday in which Republicans joined forces with two liberal Democrats to stall the measure temporarily.
The bill was able to clear the Senate’s filibuster-related
procedural hurdle the second time as Senate leaders secured the vote of a third Republican — the recently elected Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.
Two other northeast Republican senators — Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine — had voted Wednesday to proceed on the measure.
Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Democrat, also was present for the vote Thursday and contributed his support, after having missed Wednesday’s vote in the wake of a crushing primary election defeat.