McConnell: 'Serious talks' underway on bipartisan Wall St. reform bill

There are "serious talks" back underway between senators in both parties on Wall Street reform, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday.

McConnell said that the letter all 41 GOP senators had signed pledging a filibuster of financial regulatory reform legislation had forced Democrats back to the negotiating table to try to strike a deal.

"What happened as a result of the 41 letter is that serious talks have resumed," McConnell said. "We had a chance to get a report from Senator Shelby and others at lunch today, and I'm convinced now that there is a new element of seriousness attached to this, rather than just trying to score political points."

McConnell made those remarks, though, shortly before Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) took to the Senate floor to castigate the GOP for its potential blocking of a motion to proceed on the legislation, which Dodd had authored.

But the partisan barbs were not gone entirely from McConnell's post-luncheon remarks, in which he said it was a "fact" that the White House pulled Dodd and other Democrats away from negotiations on a bipartisan bill.

Dodd has emphatically denied that charge.