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Dodd Says New Reform Language Imminent

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said on the floor Wednesday afternoon that he expected to present financial reform legislation “in a matter of hours.”

Dodd’s comments came as negotiations continued and momentum to bring up a bipartisan agreement was building on both sides of the aisle. Dodd told reporters after his floor remarks that he presented Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) with an offer and that talks between the two are constant.

“I live with Shelby,” Dodd quipped. “Conversations have been going nonstop. There are still pieces to work on.”

Dodd, who has been working on financial regulatory reform since last year, said he expected legislation to hit the floor after the Senate clears the pending judicial nomination of Denny Chin, tapped to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The Senate is scheduled to vote on Chin’s nomination Thursday.

Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), also indicated that action on financial reform was imminent. “We will try to move to consider the bill before the end of the week,” LaChapelle said.

Dodd said he would not wait for Republicans to agree to a proposal before bringing it to the floor, although he underscored his hope that a deal could be achieved. He also said it was possible that a provision in the legislation to create a $50 billion fund to wind down suffering banks may be taken out of the measure, but he was careful to note that “nothing is in or out.”

Earlier Wednesday, Republicans reiterated their optimism that a bipartisan deal would be struck soon.
“I’m optimistic we’re going to get a bill,” Shelby told reporters. “It’s going to be a good bill, and we’re closer than we’ve ever been.”

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