Dodd: Independent consumer protection agency 'might' get votes in Senate

An independent consumer protection agency "might" succeed in an up-or-down vote in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Saturday.


Dodd, who is expected to release his financial regulatory overhaul soon, did not rule out including an independent agency in his bill, even though observers do not expect him to do so.

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"If there was a strict up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate, I think an independent agency might prevail," he said on Bloomberg's "Political Capital," which airs throughout the weekend.

Dodd personally favors creating a separate Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) like the one included in the House's financial reform bill. But some believe that creating the protection board as part of an existing agency, such as the Treasury Department, might garner more support.

But Dodd reiterated that it is important that the CFPA be vested with the authority to make rules. Proponents of an independent agency fear that it will not have teeth if it is housed within a larger bureaucratic structure.

The retiring Connecticut senator is currently negotiating the provisions of the overhaul with banking panel member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. 

Dodd did not say if the bill would be released next week as is expected.

"I am staying away from deadlines," he said. "We're tying to get it right...We're close...I'm pretty confident we'll have a bill soon."