Dodd to move forward as financial talks with Shelby at 'impasse'

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Friday that he will push forward without a clear deal, given the stalemate with the senior Republican on his committee.

"For now we have reached an impasse," said Dodd, the Banking panel chairman, referring to months of negotiations with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

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“While I still hope that we will ultimately have a consensus package, it is time to move the process forward."

Dodd said that his staff will begin drafting legislation to present to the full committee later in February.

Dodd said that committee staff would include ideas developed during the months of negotiations.

Shelby said later on Friday that he is concerned about the separation of consumer protection and safety and soundness.

“I will not support a bill that enhances one at the expense of the other," Shelby said. "In order to strike the appropriate balance they must be integrated with each other, not separated from each other.”

Dodd and Shelby clashed on how to bolster consumer financial protections as part of a wider array of fianncial reforms. The Obama administration and many Senate Democrats support the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The House passed broad legislation in December that included the new agency, which would regulate home mortgages and credit cards, among other products.

But the agency proposal ran into fierce opposition in the Senate, with Republicans unanimously opposed to the idea. Some Senate Democrats are skittish about the prospect of a new government regulator.

"Enacting comprehensive financial reform remains an urgent priority and we believe it is important that the process move forward," said Neal Wolin, deputy treasury secretary.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) expressed disappointment at the news but said he would continue to work to create a bipartisan bill.

Corker has been working closely with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on legislation on resolution authority to wind down large, failing firms. The two are also working on how the federal government should regulate the industry for risks posed to the broader financial system. They hope their legislation would be included in a broader committee package.

"My staff and I will continue working over the weekend with Sen. Warner and others in hopes that we will be able to work out a bipartisan bill in committee," Corker said.

This story was initially posted at 10:53 a.m. and updated at 3:06 p.m.