On Finance Reform Talks, Dodd Trades Shelby for Corker
What happens if you’re chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and your negotiations with the panel’s senior Republican over finance reform break down? If you’re Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), you recruit Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) to be the new lead Republican. Here’s Dodd’s statement explaining why:
For over a year, the Senate Banking Committee has been grappling with how best to address the many problems that led to the financial crisis. In that time Senator Corker has proved to be a serious thinker and a valuable asset to this committee. For that reason, I called him Tuesday night and asked him to negotiate the financial reform bill with me.
We met in my office on Wednesday and given the importance of these issues he agreed.
Dodd warned that “many difficult questions remain” (i.e., whether to create a Consumer Finance Protection Agency), but added that he’s more optimistic than he’s been in weeks about the proposal’s chances.
Corker, of course, is no stranger to taking the reins on issues that appear at an impasse. It was the Tennessee Republican, remember, who intervened in late 2008 to try to salvage some bipartisan deal on a Detroit bailout. It’s worth noting, however, that those talks, too, ended without the sides reaching an agreement.