Sources say Dodd is also keenly aware that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who shepherded a version of the reform bill through his chamber, is insisting on a thorough reconciliation process with an open-hearing, conference-committee format to blend the Senate and House versions of the bill. That had not happened since 2003.
Corker acknowledged that factor in his news conference. "The elephant in the room is reconciliation and trying to get a bill out of committee," he said.
Less than two weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Corker and other GOP banking panel members, according to one source. The meeting, the source said, was meant to get the GOP senators on the same page.
With the letter to Dodd, they certainly appear to be now.
"It shows all the Republicans are together," said one analyst.
The letter also says that Dodd's bill "will contain several provisions which will address issues that have never been subject to the Committees review or examination."
That is entirely possible in a bill this large and complicated—the House version was 1400-plus pages—but hardly unusual. Furthermore, Dodd said his draft would reflect much of what had been discussed and negotiated with Corker.
In terms of specifics, Dodd has only said the bill would have four major parts: End the concept of too-big-to-fail financial insitutions; address systenic risk by creating an early warning system; deal with over-the-counter derivatives; and, make a provision consumer protection, "including the possibility of a strong agency."
The last two issues have certainly been the most divisive.
Democrats want a powerful, independent agency with a presidential appointee, as well as rule-making, administrative and enforcement authority.
The GOP wants an agency with far less authority, saying its goals and actions could clash with other regulators and potentially threaten the safety and soundness of the financial system.
Derivatives supervision, which the Obama administration considers critical to reducing systemic risk, has been bogged down in talk about an exemption for so-called end users, private firms who use the products as a hedge, rather than the need to create a central clearinghouse for the market.
For all of his negotiating with Republicans, it is still unclear how much support Dodd has from Senate Democrats. His original draft bill in November met opposition from both sides of the political aisle.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, for instance, has said he plans to introduce an amendment calling for an independent agency with a presidential appointee as director.
More than a few other senators support that.
Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ted Kaufman of Delaware and Maria Cantwell of Washington have all expressed serious reservations about parts of what's expected to be in the forthcoming bill.
"Some members of the Senate are saying, 'We want a bill with some teeth in it.'" said the source.
For example, in a recent floor speech, Kaufman said: "After a crisis of this magnitude, it amazes me that some of our reform proposals effectively maintain the status quo in so many critical areas, whether it is allowing multi-trillion-dollar financial conglomerates that house traditional banking and speculative activities to continue to exist and pose threats to our financial system, permitting banks to continue to determine their own capital standards, or allowing a significant portion of the derivatives market to remain opaque and lightly regulated.”
The heated debate in Congress have been matched by lobbying from both consumer and busines groups.
"The bill must balance the goals of strengthening the regulatory framework and protect consumers, without stifling the competitive marketplace," said Scott Talbott, SVP of government affaitrs for the Financial Services Roundtable, a top industry trade group.
A fight at the Senate level followed by another one over a conference bill with the House could take months and keep financial-reform legislation up in the air around the time of the midterm elections.
That and the battle over health care may be more than anyone can handle.
On the other hand, Dodd, who is not running for re-election this fall, is said to be looking to create a legacy legislation.
In either case, time is running out.