WASHINGTON — Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd railed against Republicans for pledging to block the financial-overhaul bill from coming to the Senate floor.

Sen. Dodd, D-Conn., said Republicans' strategy would only help the large financial firms that caused the financial crisis in the first place.

"Those who vote to block this bill will be sending a clear message to American families, businesses, community bankers and tax payers: I'm sorry but we're not on your side," Dodd said during a blistering floor speech.

Dodd was reacting to pledges by almost all Republican senators that they will block Democrats from starting debate on the current version of the bill. Republicans say they want Democrats to make changes to the bill and fear they won't have leverage once floor consideration begins.

Democrats counter that they have been negotiating with Republicans for months to no avail. They say Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others are instead trying to kill the bill.

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