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Financial Reform Down to Two Major Hurdles: Dodd

Financial reform legislation has two primary hurdles to cross before Congress can get the sweeping bill approved, Sen. Christopher Dodd told CNBC.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) speaks at a news conference following the Senate's cloture vote on health care reform legislation on Capitol Hill.
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Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) speaks at a news conference following the Senate's cloture vote on health care reform legislation on Capitol Hill.

Portions of the bill dealing with a consumer protection agency and corporate governance are the two key issues still being debated, said Dodd, who introduced a compromise bill Monday that would change the way financial institutions do business.

The Connecticut Democrat said the bill came from months of negotiations and represented a bipartisan consensus on how systemically dangerous institutions ought to be regulated.

"This is complicated stuff. You can't just do it overnight," he said. "We spent a lot of time on it but now we've got to move forward and I'm pretty confident we can get the job done."

Also commenting on the bill was Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) a member of the banking committee. Corker had been working with Dodd until the Democrat decided to push the bill through the committee without GOP support.

"There's a lot of substance to this bill and a bipartisan deal could still happen," Corker told CNBC Tuesday. "But to move this bill out of committee in a week is too soon," Corker said.

While Dodd wouldn't put a timetable on when the bill will make it through and brushed aside notions that the bill was 95 percent through the amendment process, he said both parties generally agree on the need to prevent major economic contagion from the collapse of so-called "too big to fail" businesses.

"That's a major part of this bill, that we never ever again have a bailout of a firm because they have an implicit guarantee from the federal government that they'll get a check if they get themselves in trouble," Dodd said.

Corker admitted that more amendments are likely to "clean the bill up," and that a bipartisan effort would likely happen after the bill gets out of committee.

Dodd's bill contains 11 broad provisions covering areas that include banking, hedge funds, derivatives and the role of the Federal Reserve in bank oversight.

"We have a lot more clarity. We have a Federal Reserve focused on its core functions, involved in the kind of supervision of large institutions with an ability to look at what's happening systemically," he said.

Dodd earlier told MSNBC that Congress should not adjourn for Easter until it finishes the reform bill. Corker went on to say that the odds are still high that a reform bill would get voted on this year.