GOP Leaving 'Door Open' On Financial Reform: Shelby
Senate Republicans say the "door is open" to negotiating a bipartisan bill on financial reform with Democrats, but "there will be a lot of Republican votes against it as it is," says the GOP's senior member of the banking committee.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama Thursday told CNBC "we are still analyzing" the 1300-page draft bill released earlier this week by the committee's chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut.
"I do leave the door open because conceptually Sen. Dodd and lot of Republicans agree on a lot of issues," said Shelby, who added that the were still fundamental differences on key details.
Dodd Monday unveiled a new, more moderate blueprint for sweeping financial reform in an attempt to win bipartisan support, calling it "comprehensive in its scope," and one that addresses the "failures" that led to the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
The Dodd plan reconfigures banking regulation; creates a new consumer watchdog for financial products as well as a systemic-risk council with the authority to handle the resolution of too-big-to-fail firms; and introduces new safeguards against risk-taking in the marketplace.
Dodd has been working closely with several GOP committee members, most notably Bob Corker of Tennessee, after his original draft bill was essentially dead on arrival in November.
In calling for an independent consumer agency with rule-making, examination and enforcement powers, Dodd knew he would engender significant GOP opposition.
Republicans say such an arrangement raises safety and soundness risks to the financial system because the consumer agency's policies could clash with the objectives and actions of banking regulators.
Shelby again raised those concerns today, saying there needs to be "some sort of coordination."
Dodd will begin mark up of the draft bill March 22. A flurry of amendments from both GOP and Democrats are expected.
The House late last year passed its own version of sweeping financial reform legislation.