Reform Bill Heads To Full Senate

The Senate Banking Committee, voting 13-10 along party lines, has approved Sen. Chris Dodd's financial reform legislation, sending the bill to the full Senate.

Despite hundreds of proposed amendments, the committee made no alterations during the executive session, which was scheduled to mark up the bill. The hearing lasted only 21 minutes.

The Obama administration, having passed its healthcare legislation Monday, is seeking to speed up its makeover of Wall Street, media reports suggest.

Supporting these reports were comments made by Treasury Secretary Tim Geither before the American Enterprise Institute Monday.

"We are at a defining moment in the debate about financial reform," Geithner said. "It's been two and a half years since the crisis started. It's been nine months since President Obama first laid out a proposal for comprehensive reform. And it's been three months since the House of Representatives passed a major reform bill�. Now we have to decide whether or not we are going to act."

When Dodd introduced his bill last Monday, he acknowledged criticism that he was moving too fast.
"Some have suggested that we should wait a little longer to take up financial reform. To them I say, how much longer do you want to leave our economy and our middle class vulnerable?" he said in prepared remarks.

Dodd unveiled his 1,300-plus page bill with no support from Senate Republicans, despite having worked for weeks with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., to craft a bipartisan piece of legislation.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the banking committee's ranking Republican, told reporters this week that despite no Republican backing the bill in committee, "we're not polarized today."

‘We're not going to the floor polarized; we're going to the floor right now in the spirit of trying to work a consensus bill, a meaningful, substantive bill that I've said all along that we need," Shelby said, according to a Washington Post report.


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