Dodd, Shelby optimistic they'll finish financial regs bill by January

The top members of the Senate Banking Committee said Wednesday that they're optimistic they can finish a new financial regulation bill before the Senate reconvenes in January.

Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) cited "extremely productive" talks on a financial reform bill in a joint statement on Wednesday.

"For the last few weeks we, and other members of the Banking Committee, have been engaged in serious negotiations, with the goal of producing a bill that strengthens our regulatory structure and makes our economy more secure," the two said in a statement. “These talks have been extremely productive, with members providing great insight and demonstrating a desire to get this done and get this done right.”

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And, as the Senate moves toward wrapping up its legislative business for the year with a vote to pass its healthcare bill on Thursday morning, the pair expressed optimism that they would be able to finish a bill in the interim before reconvenes in the new year.

"We have made meaningful progress and we hope to resolve the remaining issues before we reconvene in January," they said.

Dodd and Shelby cited a set of shared goals in their negotiations, including ending the concept of "Too Big to Fail" financial institutions, bolstering the government's ability to wind down companies, strengthening consumer protection, lessening the Federal Reserve's regulatory responsibilities, and modernizing the regulatory structure, including oversight of derivatives markets.

The joint statement raises the specter of a possible bipartisan deal on the Senate's financial reform bill. The House passed its own financial regulations bill on December 11 in a 223-202 vote. No Republicans voted in favor of that bill.