In a weekend meeting, Dodd and Shelby agreed to the mark up process, according to sources, and have been negotiating ever since.
"I understand they are talking and close, but still not there," said one source familiar with the GOP's thinking. "It's almost as if the mark-up didn't happen."
As the ranking Republican member on the panel, Shelby's support would appear critical to getting the 60 votes necessary for Senate approval. The Democrats control 59 seats.
But one source said the White House is looking to tweak the legislation just enough to secure one GOP vote.
"That Republican doesn’t have to be Dick Shelby," said the congressional source, adding that one of several moderate Republicans might be convinced to cross over.
Dodd said as much himself at his news conference with Frank.
The White House push comes after the House approved health care legislation by a narrow partisan vote Sunday.
In introducing his bill last Monday, Dodd made it clear he felt time was running out to handle a massive piece of legislation before the November midterm elections, which will change the party composition of both chambers. Equally important is that Dodd is not seeking re-election.
"There's opportunity between now and July 4," the congressional source.
Dodd's 1300-plus page proposal includes a laundry list of items: a new consumer financial protection agency, new supervision of hedge funds and derivatives trading, a reshuffling of banking industry regulators, investor protection, new federal authority to handle too-big-to-fail financial firms meant to limit taxpayer bailout funds and the creation of a systemic risk council as part of an early warning system.
Though the bill reflects months of negotiations with GOP committee members such as Bob Corker of Tennessee and Shelby of Alabama, disagreement remains on both small and large matters.
That's evident in the fact that Corker, who worked side-by side with Dodd for more than a month, introduced almost 100 amendments alone.
Republicans, for instance, feel that Dodd's proposal gives the consumer watchdog too much independence and power, such that its policies and actions will inevitably clash with those of front line regulators, creating safety and soundness issues for the financial system
In a statement Wednesday, Corker said "there have been multiple opportunities to achieve a bipartisan consensus, and allowing the bill to leave committee without doing so is, in my opinion, a strategic error. Majority Leader Reid can call the bill up at any time now, and the White House is obviously very aware of that fact."