Death of Senator Byrd May Endanger Financial Reform Bill

Sen. Robert Byrd
Sen. Robert Byrd

The death of Senator Robert Byrd, a Democrat who represented West Virginia, may endanger the planned financial reform bill.

Without Byrd's vote, the Democrats may struggle to obtain the 60 votes needed to prevent a Republican filibuster of the bill in the Senate, Fox News reported.

There are a total of fifty-nine Democrats and independents who caucus with the Democrats in the Senate. Two of these voted against the bill in May and are not expected to change their vote.

That means that without Byrd, Democrats would only have a total of 56 votes for the bill and so would need support from Republican lawmakers in order to overcome a filibuster.

Byrd died early this morning at the age of 92.