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Senators Say Lincoln Victory Saves Tough Derivatives Regs

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a member of the conference committee, echoed Durbin after a meeting yesterday and said progressives might bolt if it's "tinkered with."

Even Tennessee Republican Bob Corker said Lincoln's victory "has to have an impact of some kind."

"It makes it...more interesting to deal with," Corker told reporters coyly yesterday afternoon.

But Durbin and Harkin are stalwart supporters of the Lincoln proposal, and Corker has long been cynical about the Democrats' political motives as they've advanced the Wall Street reform bill.

By contrast, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, a consistent skeptic of the spin-off plan, and the Senate's principal financial reform negotiator took a different view. He described Lincoln's plan as "on the right track" but disagreed with his colleagues that her victory alters the chances that it will be changed.

Sen. Barney Frank (D-MA), who chairs the conference committee, has also said he thinks Lincoln's plan is unnecessary--but he'll have to balance his skepticism against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's support of it.

Public deliberations over the final bill begin this afternoon, and, perhaps weighing in Lincoln's favor, any attempt to change her plan will have to be voted on publicly.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com