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There's light at the end of the tunnel for Chris Dodd's long slog toward a new Wall Street crackdown. In a statement today, Dodd announced he's going to release a draft of his financial reform legislation on Monday. "Over the last few months, Banking Committee members have worked together to try and produce a consensus package," Dodd said. "Together we have made significant progress and resolved a many [sic] of the items, but a few outstanding issues remain."
The announcement from Dodd signals that the Connecticut senator's efforts at writing a bipartisan bill have failed. In a news conference soon after Dodd's announcement, his GOP negotiating partner, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said Dodd's announcement was "very disappointing" and blamed a number of factors for derailing the bipartisan talks. "There's no question the White House, politics and health care have kept us from getting to the goal line," Corker said.
Since Dodd released an early draft of financial reform legislation last November, he and other members of the banking committee have been embroiled in closed-door negotiations over issues like a new consumer protection agency, ending the government's implicit bailout guarantee for failing banks, and creating the power for regulators to unwind or "euthanize" too-big-to-fail and too-intertwined-to-fail banks. The fate of consumer protection, in particular, has become a lightning-rod issue in the financial reform talks between Dodd and Corker. Dodd has insisted he doesn't care where a new consumer-protection agency is housed—the Federal Reserve and the Treasury are two potential locations—so long as it's "independent," meaning having a presidentially-appointed leader, independent budget, and rule-writing and enforcement powers. GOPers, however, have pushed back against that independence, arguing that any new agency shouldn't have enforcement authority.
How the consumer protection battle plays is just one key issue to look for in Dodd's draft. While you're at it, here are five more to watch for on Monday: