Despite round-the-clock talks between Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby there’s no bipartisan deal on financial regulatory reform, but leaders on both sides said Sunday they are hopeful they can come together.
In a sharp contrast from the rancorous tone on last week’s Sunday shows, Republicans and Democrats alike said today there is good momentum to agree on legislation soon, even though everyone agreed they aren’t there “yet.”
“It might be later this week, it might be next week, but the main thing is to get a good bill,” Shelby (R-AL), the ranking member of the Banking Committee, said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Shelby and Dodd made a rare joint appearance on the show, a move that Capitol Hill aides thought would lead to the announcement of a final agreement allowing the Senate to move forward Monday as planned.But Dodd (D-CT), the chairman of the committee, said they still have “more work to do” and they would be meeting all day today.
“We’re getting there, we’re close … we’re not there yet,” Dodd said.
Similar comments were made on the other shows, but each politician sounded hopeful that a deal can be struck, soon. Republicans said they would not yield until there is an agreement, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Fox News Sunday that senators want to see a bill passed.
“We don’t have a bipartisan compromise yet, but I think there’s a good chance they are going to get it,” said McConnell (R-KY).
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), a key negotiator on the measure, said on ABC’s “This Week” that “hopefully” there will be a compromise by Monday night. “It’s very important that we reach that bipartisan agreement first,” Corker said.
But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), also appearing on ABC, asked that the Republicans move forward even if agreement is not reached. “All we’re asking for tomorrow night is 60 votes … let us begin the debate,” he said. Brown also lauded Corker for working with the Democrats. “I wish there were more Bob Corkers in the Senate Republican caucus,” he said. (Corker has been targeted on this issue by tea partiers.)
Shelby said that Republicans and Democrats are “conceptually very, very close,” but admitted that “inches sometimes are miles, so I’m hoping they are half-inches.”
“Will we get a bill by tomorrow? I doubt it,” Shelby said, adding he and Dodd are closer than they have ever been to an agreement.
Practically, that means a procedural cloture vote to bring financial reform legislation to the Senate floor on Monday may fail with the GOP united against its current form. Corker said if not, “Yes, 41 Republicans in my opinion, would block it unless we reach this agreement.”
Aides say it’s an eternity between this morning and Monday, so it’s still possible they can reach a deal before the vote.
Follow all the latest developments on TPM’s financial reform wire.