Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said the Senate will press ahead with financial reform legislation this week, arguing that momentum is on his side and that at least a handful of Republicans eventually will support the measure.
“I’m hopeful this week, with all the efforts that we’ve been making over the last number of months, that we can come to an agreement that would produce the kind of broad votes that we should on this legislation, and I’m still hopeful that can be achieved,” Dodd told reporters Monday at a press conference with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
But “the talking is almost over and now we need to move and make decisions about whether or not we’re going to support this legislation,” Dodd said.
Warner, noting that he worked with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on portions of the measure, invited Republicans to offer suggestions.
“I know Sen. Corker and I have said there may be other ways, but we need specific suggestions, not broad-based partisan attacks,” Warner said.
Democrats have launched a full-court press to build momentum behind the bill, which last week was pounded by Republicans who charged it would protect predatory firms and ensure taxpayer-funded bailouts in the event of a future economic crisis. President Barack Obama will travel to New York later this week to deliver remarks on Wall Street reform, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner continues meeting with Members to try to win additional votes. Geithner is scheduled to sit down this afternoon with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), considered a potential supporter.
“I know there are Republican Members of this body who, frankly, are tired of being asked to just vote no on everything, to start over every day,” Dodd said, later adding: “On Wednesday or Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate will get a chance to decide which side of the equation are they on, for change and establishing the laws and regulations that will protect us, or on the other side that said no.”