End Game Is Coming Together On Financial Overhaul Bill

By Fawn Johnson
Dow Jones Newswires

The White House and congressional Democrats are plotting the end game of their financial regulatory overhaul, with one Republican saying his party has lost leverage in negotiations and another predicting a “100% chance” the legislation will pass.

The developments come as the Obama administration has struck a more aggressive tone in its effort to finalize the banking rules, which White House officials have said are necessary to protect against a future financial crisis.

The changes, which would create more consumer protection regulations, give the government more scrutiny over large companies, and tighten restrictions for exotic financial products, would create the biggest overhaul of financial rules since the 1930s.

President Barack Obama met Wednesday with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), and Dodd said he would start working through differences between a bill that passed the House in December and his own version of the rules in the coming days. The bill first has to pass the Senate, however…

… Several Republicans who had fought for a bipartisan compromise say their negotiating power has slipped. They also say the White House appears emboldened by its recent victory on a health care bill and is less willing to compromise.

“I believe it could be a very large strategic mistake” that Banking Committee Republicans allowed the financial rewrite bill to pass the panel without attempting to amend it, said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.). “I think it’s far more difficult to get us where we need to go.”

Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.), an influential fiscal conservative on committee, said he is confident a bill will pass, and he hopes more than a few Republicans will back it.

“A hundred percent chance it will pass, it won’t be a hundred percent vote,” Gregg told reporters after a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Senate Republicans and Democrats can work out the most critical parts of the measure–winding down or “resolving” institutions that are considered “too big to fail” and regulating over-the-counter derivatives, Gregg said.

“The real guts of this bill, derivatives, resolution authority, too big to fail, regulatory structure–those are not political issues. It’s just a question of getting them right. I think both sides want to get them right,” Gregg said…

The complete article is at FoxBusiness.com

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