WASHINGTON — The top Senate Democrat working on financial regulatory overhaul efforts said Friday he will move forward without a top Republican, suggesting the political battle over the issue could ratchet up quickly.

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) said in a statement released by his office that he and Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top GOP member of the Senate Banking Committee that Dodd chairs, have "reached an impasse" on legislation to change the way financial markets are regulated.

"While I still hope that we will ultimately have a consensus package, it is time to move the process forward," Dodd said.

Dodd and Shelby have been negotiating for months on the Senate version of the legislation, to no avail. Overhaul regulation of the financial services sector is a key domestic priority of the Obama administration and the House of Representatives passed their version of the bill last year.

Dodd said in the statement that he will present legislation to the Banking panel later this month.

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