Tensions have been simmering between two top Republicans in the Banking Committee since the senior member, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), backed out of talks with Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and a junior member, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), stepped in to fill the vacuum.
On Wednesday, the heat turned up a tad even as the two lawmakers tried to work together -- Shelby emerged from the Senate floor and told reporters that he, Corker and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) have made a new proposal to Dodd on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
Corker was in the spotlight earlier in the week due to his compromise deal with Dodd that would put the CFPA in the Federal Reserve.
"Senator Gregg, Senator Corker and I have made an offer to Senator Dodd and I hope it's worthwhile," said Shelby. He wouldn't say what the proposal was.
A reporter asked if it would be a new proposal.
"It'd be new," he said.
Corker then emerged from the Senate floor and was asked about Shelby's new proposal.
"I wouldn't carry it quite that far. There's been some tweaks offered that I think are very good ones," he said, making sure to downgrade the latest effort and keep the focus on the earlier one. "Anyway, the last 12 to 14 hours has been very positive from my standpoint."
Corker said the he expected a deal perhaps within the day or by the end of the weekend. He added that he had dinner the night before with Gregg and was meeting multiple times a day with Dodd, while still talking with Shelby. A deal was "very, very close," he said.
Whether additional Republicans come on board isn't material to whether he'll back the bill, he said. "I've made the point that I would be the 60th vote if it were a really good bill," he said, but added that if he supported it, he assumed that it would be good enough for a number of other Republicans, too.
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called Corker's compromise a "joke" and said that it wouldn't pass the House
"It almost helps me to sell it. I say that with humor," responded Corker. "I love Barney."