WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Shelby said Wednesday that negotiations with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd over regulatory reform legislation had hit a wall. The panel's lead Republican said it was now up to his GOP colleagues whether to allow debate on the bill.
Republicans have so far united behind Shelby as he continued to hash out a bipartisan deal with Dodd, voting three times in as many days to block the Senate from beginning debate on the bill. Although Dodd had pledged to address remaining concerns on the floor, Shelby had said he wanted to work them out beforehand.
"Now that my negotiations with Chairman Dodd have reached an impasse, I thank my Republican colleagues for their support and defer to their individual judgments on whether the Senate begins a floor debate on this bill," Shelby said in a press statement.
Shelby said that the two lawmakers had made progress on tightening up resolution language, but he remained concerned about the potential far-reaching impact of provisions to regulate derivatives and create a consumer protection agency.
"While these changes are significant and meaningful, they are not sufficient to garner my support for moving this bill to the Senate floor," Shelby said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also released a press release that signaled Republicans were free to vote to start debate.
"Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over," he said. "I remain deeply troubled by a number of provisions in this bill and will work aggressively in the days ahead to ensure that the majority does not use our mutual interest in regulating Wall Street to extend the federal government’s unwanted hand into Main Street."