Days after instructing his staff to begin crafting financial regulatory reform without Republican input, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has decided to give the GOP another chance.
The Connecticut Democrat put out a statement on Thursday announcing that he and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) are in the process of negotiations on financial reform legislation.
"For over a year, the Senate Banking Committee has been grappling with how best to address the many problems that led to the financial crisis."
"In that time Senator Corker has proved to be a serious thinker and a valuable asset to this committee. For that reason, I called him Tuesday night and asked him to negotiate the financial reform bill with me. We met in my office on Wednesday and given the importance of these issues he agreed."
"While many difficult questions remain, financial reform is in a strong position due to the good work done by Banking Committee members, both Democrats and Republicans, to work out this bill."
"I am more optimistic than I have been in several weeks that we can develop a consensus bill to bring about the reforms the financial sector so desperately needs to prevent another economic crisis."
Dodd clearly wants bipartisan support for his committee's bill, having gone to great lengths to keep the ranking member, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), engaged in the process until last week's "impasse." The concern among some Democrats is that this legislative process will begin to mirror what took place in the Senate Finance Committee with health care reform, in which a lengthy pursuit of a Republican vote proved successful but also resulted in watered-down legislation that was vilified beyond factual honesty.