Washington - After three days and three votes in which Senate Republicans unanimously voted to block beginning the debate on Wall Street reform, they finally relented and tonight allowed the Senate to begin its work.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Banking Committee who has helped craft the Wall Street reform bill, released the following statement:

"The Republican-Wall Street obstruction strategy was no match for families back home who have had it with special interests protecting the status quo. Families enduring the worst economy in generations have been clamoring for us to begin the work of bringing accountability to Wall Street. My hope is that we can make this as strong a consumer and taxpayer protection bill as possible and that our Republican colleagues will join us in that effort instead of working to water it down."