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DODD STATEMENT ON MCCONNELL LETTER

April 16, 2010

“Bring me your ideas, let’s work on this together, let’s debate the bill, and pass strong Wall Street reform to protect our country from the kinds of abuses that lost so many their jobs, their homes, and their life savings.  But let’s not engage in nonsense.”
 
WASHINGTON – Today Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) issued the following statement in response to a letter by Senate Republicans rejecting Dodd’s Wall Street reform bill as being “partisan.”
 
“We can disagree over serious, substantive issues.  We can have a real debate over the future of our country, but if this bill does not represent a bi-partisan effort, I don’t know what does,”  Dodd said.
 
“From day one, I have insisted that the only way to address an issue as serious as the financial security of our country was to work across the aisle.”
 
“My door has always been open.  I am always willing to listen to anyone with good ideas.”
 
“I have been in extensive talks with my Republican colleagues for over a year, and I still am.”
 
·         “In February of 2009 I requested Treasury include Senator Shelby’s staff in meetings to discuss ideas for reform, so that Republican input would be included in the initial proposal.”
 
·         “In April of 2009 we laid out for Senator Shelby’s staff our first substantive proposal.”
 
·         “Throughout that summer we held dozens of hearings together and participated in dozens more discussions walking through the Administration’s proposal.”
 
·         “In August, months before unveiling the initial discussion draft, I sent Senator Shelby a proposal in hopes we could reach bi-partisan agreement.”
 
·         “After talks seemed to stall in the fall, I released a discussion draft to get things moving and I created bi-partisan working groups to resolve our differences.”
 
·         “When negotiations with Sen. Shelby again stalled in February, I attempted to work with Senator Corker.”
 
·         “And when those talks hit their end, I put together a bill very different from the draft I proposed in November, incorporating ideas from both sides of the aisle touching on nearly every aspect of the bill.”
 
·         “We held an open markup.  401 amendments were filed with the committee, but my Republican colleagues did not bring up a single amendment and declined my offer to include some of their amendments in the manager’s amendment.”
 
·         “Days later, Senator Shelby said we are in 80% agreement on this bill, 80% seems pretty bi-partisan to me.”
 
“At this point, I say to my colleagues, bring me your ideas, let’s work on this together, let’s debate the bill, and pass strong Wall Street reform to protect our country from the kinds of abuses that lost so many their jobs, their homes, and their life savings.  But let’s not engage in nonsense.”
 
 
FACT SHEET: DODD PURSUED A BIPARTISAN SOLUTION TO FINANCIAL REFORMS FROM THE START
 
Politico: Dodd Insisted On A Bipartisan Approach To Financial Reforms From The Start.  Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd insisted on a bipartisan approach to financial reform from the beginning of legislative discussions.  According to Politico, “After the Treasury Department released its legislative draft for financial regulation reform in July, administration officials contacted Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd to set up a briefing.  But the Connecticut Democrat caught them short by insisting it be a bipartisan affair, with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and his staff included.  And so it went all summer, with Treasury officials going through the draft proposals line by line, through all 13 titles. The sessions sparked lively debate, with both Dodd’s and Shelby’s staff pushing administration officials to defend the choices they’d made, administration sources recalled.” [Politico, 10/19/09]
 
Washington Post: Dodd And Shelby Spent Countless Hours Together Discussing Reforms; Staffs Had Been Sharing Proposals For Months.  The Washington Post reported, “Shelby, by contrast, clearly would like to help the Democrats write the Senate bill, provided his influence is substantial. He and Dodd have spent many hours -- including several on Wednesday -- mulling the issues before them.  Dodd has been cultivating Shelby for the past two years. The Dodds and Shelbys have had numerous dinners out together… For months the staffs working for Dodd and Shelby have been sharing proposals, asking questions, discussing the issues of regulatory reform.” [Washington Post, 12/17/09]
 
·         Politico: Financial Reform Process Is “Notable Different From The Partisan Path.” “It’s a process that is notably different from the partisan path of health care reform.” [Politico, 10/19/09]
 
·         Dodd And Shelby Disclosed They’ve Been In Constant Discussion.  “Dodd and Shelby talk about regulatory reform on a nearly constant basis, both men say, and their staffs are deep in discussions… Both Dodd and Shelby also meet regularly with their respective members on the committee, and Dodd said he meets with Republicans as well as his team of Democrats.”  [Politico, 10/19/09]
 
·         February 2010: Dodd Pledged To Seek Bipartisan Support.  Dodd stressed the importance of reaching a bipartisan consensus to advance financial reforms, saying following a hearing of the Banking Committee, ‘I don’t want to go to the floor of the United States Senate begging for a 60th vote.’”  [Wall Street Journal, 2/4/10]
 
DODD CONSULTED WITH SHELBY BEFORE DECIDING TO REMAIN CHAIRMAN OF BANKING
 
Dodd Stayed On Banking Committee Only After Assured Shelby Would Work With Him On Financial Reforms.  The Washington Post reported, “Dodd consulted extensively with Shelby after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in August before deciding to remain chairman of the banking committee (he could have taken Kennedy's place as chairman of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions), explaining later that Shelby convinced him he was serious about trying to reform the financial rulebook.” [Washington Post, 12/17/09]
 
 
DODD INTRODUCED REFORM “DISCUSSION DRAFT” TO SPARK COMMITTEE DEBATE
 
Dodd Introduced “Discussion Draft” To Identify Agreements And Work Out Differences.  Speaking about the “discussion draft” for financial reforms that he introduced, Senator Dodd said, “This is a discussion draft of this bill. And my plan is procedurally to have this bill out there…I look forward to the continued input and cooperation of our colleagues. This is why this is called a discussion draft: so that we can invite additional ideas and thoughts to this proposal.” [Senate Banking Committee press conference, 11/10/09]
 
·         Dodd Emphasized Importance Of Bipartisan Approach.  Dodd said, “I spoke to virtually almost every member of the Republican side of the committee to tell them what we were going to do today in the schedule and how it lay out.  And so, I want to take this opportunity to -- that -- that door is very much open. I very much would like to have their input and participation in putting this bill together.  I think this is a -- one of my colleagues said it: There's not a left/right answer to this, there's a right/wrong answer to this. This ought to be stripped as much as possible from ideology, as it is about doing what makes sense, what is important to get our economy back on its feet again.” [Senate Banking Committee press conference, 11/10/09]
 
·         Shelby Said Discussion Draft Met Republican Needs On “70 Percent, Perhaps More.”  At the opening mark-up on financial reform, Shelby said, “We might be in agreement on 70 percent, perhaps more, we’ve got a lot of the concepts that we’ve got to work out.  But I think we can do it, we can do it, we’ve shown it in other things, and this is the time to do it…we’re going to try hard to work with you to do a good bill.” [Banking Committee executive session, 11/19/09]
 
·         Dodd Pledged To Work With Republicans Towards A “Common Piece Of Legislation.” At the opening mark-up on financial reform, Dodd said, “I’m going to operate on the fact that these were not just public statements made for public consumption, here today, but rather firm commitments made by our colleagues, to sit down and do what doesn’t happen often enough around here, and that is develop a common piece of legislation that addresses the issues we all know need to be confronted.” [Banking Committee executive session, 11/19/09]
 
 
DODD CREATED BIPARTISAN WORKING GROUPS TO ADVANCE FINANCIAL REFORMS
 
November 2009: Dodd Announced Bipartisan Working Groups On Financial Reform.  “Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd has asked key members of his committee to split off into bipartisan working groups in an effort to break the logjam on financial reform legislation.”  Dodd committed to working with Senator Shelby on prudential regulation and consumer protection; and asked Senators Reed and Gregg, Schumer and Crapo, and Warner and Corker to take up other key elements of the reforms.  [Politico, 11/24/09]
 
·         Shelby Said That Bipartisan Groups Were Making Progress.  “Shelby noted that the talks have been going well since Dodd took his discussion draft ‘off the table’ and appointed working groups among committee members to handle some of the thornier provisions of the package. Staff will work on resolving issues over the Christmas break. ‘We’re making progress,’ Shelby said, adding, ‘I would think if we continue to make progress,’ the panel could mark up a bill by the end of January. [National Journal’s CongressDaily, 12/16/09]
 
·         December 2009: Dodd and Shelby Reinforced Commitment To Bipartisan Work On Financial Reforms.  Chairman Dodd and Ranking Member Shelby issued a joint statement to emphasize the bipartisan progress made on financial reforms.  The Senators said, “We are committed to working together on legislation to create a sound regulatory structure.  In this process we share many of the same goals.”  Dodd and Shelby outlined their shared commitment and the two stated that “These talks have been extremely productive, with members providing great insight and demonstrating a desire to get this done and get this done right. We have made meaningful progress and we hope to resolve the remaining issues before we reconvene in January.” [Dodd Shelby joint press release, 11/23/09]
 
 
DODD TRIED TO MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS BIPARTISAN BILL WITH CORKER
 
Dodd Pledged To Move Forward On Reforms, Incorporating Bipartisan Solutions Reached By Working Groups.  “While I still hope that we will ultimately have a consensus package, it is time to move the process forward…I appreciate the good work that has been done to this point by Senator Shelby and the other Banking Committee members who have worked so hard in this process.  Over the past two months we have had productive bi-partisan negotiations in a number of areas and I intend to incorporate many of those agreements in this new proposal.” [Dodd statement, 2/5/10]
 
Dodd Decided To Partner With Republican Senator Corker On Final Negotiations Of The Financial Reform Bill.  After he and Senator Shelby reached an impasse in negotiations, Chairman Dodd reached out to Republican Committee member Bob Corker.  Dodd said, “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.  While many difficult questions remain, financial reform is in a strong position due to the good work done by Banking Committee members, both Democrats and Republicans, to work out this bill.” [Dodd statement, 2/11/10]
 
DODD CONTINUED NEGOTIATIONS WITH SHELBY AFTER MARKUP
 
Shelby Agreed To Continue Negotiations With Dodd After Markup Of The Bill.  “On Monday, the Banking Committee's top Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, withdrew Republican amendments to the bill and let the committee approve a Dodd-written bill by a party-line 13-10 vote. At the time, Shelby said he would continue to negotiate with Dodd, D-Conn.” [AP, 3/24/10]
 
Shelby Said He Was In 80% Agreement With Dodd On Bill After Markup, Continued Negotiations With Dodd.  “Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said lawmakers are 80 percent in agreement on financial-regulation legislation and can pass a bill by the end of May with bipartisan effort.  ‘I believe that there’s a good chance that we can get a regulatory reform bill before Memorial Day if we can work out a few kinks that we have working today,’ Alabama’s Shelby said today in a CNBC television interview.  Shelby said he and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat whose proposal was approved by the panel this week, are continuing talks to work out differences on issues including oversight of companies deemed ‘too big to fail.’” [Bloomberg News, 3/26/10]
Shelby Says Dodd Is Still Working With Him. “Principals in the talks insist a broad deal remains possible. Senate Banking ranking member Richard Shelby today said he and Dodd had ‘the best meeting we've had in weeks’ late Wednesday.”  [Congress Daily, 4/15/10]
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