The Senate Banking Committee today approved legislation that would overhaul the nation's financial regulatory system, setting up a Senate floor battle over how far to rein in Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis.
The panel approved Banking Chairman Chris Dodd's bill, 13-10, after Banking ranking member Richard Shelby decided Republicans would not put forth hundreds of amendments that they filed.
Instead, Republicans would force Dodd to try to pick up at least one GOP member once the bill hits the floor. Shelby is hoping that a lack of votes to cut off debate would result in Dodd offering up concessions that he has so far refused to do, even though he has come close to picking off Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
Retiring at the end of the year, Dodd maintains that Congress will pass a revamp to correct regulatory flaws that resulted in a near collapse of the credit markets, the failure of investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and the government bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group. "We will not fail in my view. We will adopt reform of the financial system this year," Dodd said.
For his part, Shelby said he would work with Dodd to "find middle ground" and he did not believe "an agreement is out of reach."