Dodd, Frank Confident About Getting Financial Reform Passed This Year

Mar 24, 2010 12:18pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: This morning President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner met with Sen. Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in the Oval Office to discuss financial reform. Following their meeting, both members of Congress came out to stakeout cameras to express their confidence in passing a financial regulation bill this year. “I’m confident we are going to get bill,” Dodd said, predicting a bill signing ceremony before the Congress adjourns this year, possibly, he said, before Memorial Day. On Monday, Sen. Dodd moved his financial regulatory bill, which the president supports, out of the Senate Banking Committee and it will now go to the floor of the US Senate for debate. The full Senate is not expected to take up the Wall Street reform measure until next month at the earliest. “Obviously there will be some opposition, there are a lot of people lobbying against it, some of the Republicans are promising the financial committees they’re going to kill this thing but I believe we will get a very good bill out of here.” Frank said. Dodd promised a strong package: ending “too big to fail”, setting up a strong consumer protection agency, and to deal with systemic risk. Even though reporting suggests the two are at an impasse, Dodd said that he has had “very positive initial conversations” with Sen. Shelby, the ranking Republican on the committee, in last two days, and that he is working with Chairman Frank to harmonize their proposals in the coming days. After talks with Shelby and Corker collapsed,  Dodd decided to unveil his proposal alone. Every Republican on the Banking panel opposed Dodd’s bill during Monday’s mark-up. Republicans did not even offer any amendments because, as Shelby said, they knew they would “inevitably be defeated.” “There are a couple areas of difference, but they are I think within reach,” Frank said between the House and the Senate- not getting into details of the areas of disagreements. Both agreed that the results of health care’s passage should be a sign for Republicans to get on board. “I think health care frankly the outcome there strengthened our hand in reaching out to people who would like to be part of the solution,” Dodd said. “I would hope that after yesterday those Republicans who I think reluctantly went along with the ‘just say no’ or against everything are finally going to step up and say ‘look that’s over with, we didn’t get elected to congress, to the United States Senate to just say no to everything,’” “If the leadership tells us they just want to say no to everything we’re going to walk,” Dodd added. "The president and Chairmen Dodd and Frank discussed the momentum behind the ongoing efforts to pass strong financial reform and the next steps forward,” White House spokesperson Amy Brundage said in a statement. “They discussed their shared commitment to passing these long-overdue reforms that will protect American families and the long-term health of our economy, and the president reiterated his commitment to working to strengthen the bill and to fight against any attempts to weaken protections for consumers.” — Sunlen Miller

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