Banking Chairman Dodd to go it alone on financial overhaul

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will unveil financial overhaul legislation on Monday without a firm bipartisan deal.

Dodd announced Thursday he would schedule a committee markup the week of March 22 even though he and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had not struck a final deal.

Corker said negotiations were on "the 5-yard line" and blamed politics, including the healthcare debate, for complicating the talks.

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"There is no question that White House politics and healthcare have kept us from getting to the goal line," Corker said in a press conference.

Corker specifically blamed plans by the White House and Democrats to move healthcare through the Senate before the Easter break with the use of controversial budget reconciliation rules that would prevent the GOP from filibustering the bill.

Dodd and Corker had spent weeks trying to hammer out an agreement on financial regulations, including new consumer protections for financial products.

"We have made significant progress and resolved many of the items, but a few outstanding issues remain," Dodd said in a statement.

President Barack Obama supports a standalone Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). But the proposal ran into stiff resistance in the Senate and fervent opposition from financial industry lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to consumer protections, Corker said another key sticking point remains regulation of financial derivatives.

Dodd said that he continues to pursue a bipartisan "consensus" package, but he believes pushing forward to committee debate is "the best course of action to achieve that end."


“I have been fortunate to have a strong partner in Sen. Corker, and my new proposal will reflect his input and the good work done by many of our colleagues as well," Dodd said. “Our talks will continue, and it is still our hope to come to agreement on a strong bill all of the Senate can be proud to support very soon.


"In fairness, I think what was happening was members on the left were getting very nervous about what they were reading."

Corker said he expects Dodd to unveil a bill that is to the left of where negotiations stood at the end.

On consumer issues, Corker said senators were negotiating nuances "20 rungs deep" at Treasury.

"There has been no breakdown. You are on the 5-yard line and the lights went out," Corker said.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner comended Dodd for moving forward.

"We look forward to working with him and the committee to write new rules of the road that will protect consumers, end 'too big to fail', and close loopholes," Geithner said in a statement.


This story was first posted at 9:51 a.m. and updated at 11:54 a.m.