Sen. Chris Dodd, Banking Chairman, Unveils Proposed Wall Street Crackdown

Politics Behind the Bill

To get his proposal through the Senate, Dodd will need to win some Republican support. Dodd had spent the past few months negotiating with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., after talks with the banking committee's ranking Republican, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., collapsed. But Dodd decided to unveil his proposal Monday despite not having an agreement with GOP lawmakers. The Connecticut lawmaker, who is not running for re-election this fall, said he wanted to push forward his reform plan in order to get it passed by the banking panel before the Easter break.

Today, Dodd said he was still "optimistic" about getting bipartisan support for the bill.

Then there is the matter of reconciling the Senate bill – assuming it passes – with the one that passed the House last year. Frank has vigorously opposed putting the consumer watchdog in the Fed.

But today, Dodd, echoing the argument made by the White House, said the location of the agency is "not the important part."

"The fact that this institution would be housed in rented space in the Fed does not mean it has one iota of authority over the operation or the budget of this agency," Dodd said.

The financial industry today also spoke out about Dodd's proposal.

Steve Bartlett, president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, said Dodd's bill "hits the right notes on some aspects, like too-big-to-fail and streamlining of bank regulation."

However, Bartlett said, "Consumer protection should not be separated out from the regulators which govern the products. We are concerned with the autonomous authority given to such an entity."

But a year-and-a-half after the financial meltdown, lawmakers, such as Dodd are well aware that, with elections looming this fall, the clock is ticking. The push for reform, Dodd said, must start in earnest right now.

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