Emerging tonight from a meeting with his Republican counterpart Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) put a diplomatic face on what appears to be a significant victory for him and his party. Tonight, Republicans acknowledged that they are likely to debate Dodd’s financial regulatory reform bill, breaking their filibuster, even as Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over key aspects of the legislation.
Without going into great detail, Dodd trumpeted the fact that he and Shelby have largely come to an understanding over one major aspect of the legislation–how to unwind large, failed financial institutions–and said he believes that will be enough to move the bill forward, despite continuing disagreement over other key sections.“I feel pretty optimistic that even though we don’t have agreement on these other issues, the fact that we’ve come to closure–or almost closure–on the too big to fail issue, should allow us now to move and get the kind of support on the [motion] to proceed,” Dodd told reporters.
So why did things unfold this way? Dodd says it has less to do with Shelby’s specific objections, or Republican leadership’s desire to slow things down, than it does to broader institutional distrust. “It really is the hangover from the health care issue,” he said. “I think there was so much acrimony around that debate that this bill is suffering a bit from the problems that people perceived in handling that bill.”
Ultimately though, he thinks the political pyrotechnics of the last few days will soon come to an end, and the Senate will debate his legislation on the floor.
“You do the best you can and then you move forward.”