Dodd Woos Democratic, GOP Votes


Dodd Woos Democratic, GOP Votes

Roll Call – Nearly every Senator agrees in theory that financial regulatory reform needs to be addressed this year, but Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is finding it difficult to turn that into actual “yes” votes, especially from Republicans.

Dodd is continuing to negotiate with Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and committee Democrats, though it remains unclear whether he will find the sweet spot that will ultimately win at least 60 votes on the Senate floor for the 1,300-page bill. However, while committee Democrats have expressed some reservations, Dodd is likely still to be able to count on their support.

“It’s tough, it’s a big bill, it’s a complex bill, people have a lot of different ideas,” committee spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said. “But when we talk to committee members, everybody is committed to getting it done.”

Public anger with Wall Street bailouts and exorbitant executive bonuses are the wind at Dodd’s back in pushing his bill before the midterm elections, as Democrats are looking for a consumer-friendly issue to tout on the campaign trail. Indeed, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) noted at a press conference Wednesday that regulatory reform folds into Democrats’ broad jobs agenda and that the issue will be a top concern after the two-week Easter recess.

The Banking panel will begin marking up the measure next week. All 13 Democrats are likely to vote in favor, even as some liberals, such as Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), fight their own concerns with certain provisions. As he works to hold his Democratic colleagues together, Dodd and other Democrats aren’t giving up on finding GOP support.

“Republicans don’t want to be on the wrong side of Wall Street,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, predicting at least a handful of GOPers will vote for the measure on the floor.

Still, that didn’t persuade Brown to go with a softer measure that would meet Republican priorities.

“I want it to be as progressive as we can get out of committee — [as] strong on consumer as we can get,” Brown said.

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