Bank break-up bill fails in Senate

An unusual left-right coalition failed to break the Senate's bank-friendly majority in turning back a relatively radical amendment to the proposed bank reform tonight.

The Senate voted 61-33 to reject a bank reform amendment that would force Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to sell assets so they were no longer "too big to fail."

Pennsylvania's Democratic Sens. Specter and Casey joined Senate leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a group of mostly liberal Democrats, and three conservative Republicans - Richard Shelby of Alabama, Coburn of Oregon, and Ensign of Nevada - in supporting the bill.

The measure was sponsored by Delaware's lame-duck Sen. Ted Kaufman and Ohio freshman Sherrod Brown. They were outgunned by bank supporters, including most Republicans. Also voting No were Delaware's other Senator, Tom Carper, New Jersey Democrats Lautenberg and Menendez, and lame-duck longtime Senate banking committee boss Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

Kaufman issued a statement: "A mainstream consensus will continue to grow that these banks are too large, too complex, too internally conflicted..."  Full vote here.

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