WASHINGTON — The Senate appointed conferees on Tuesday to negotiate differences with the House on regulatory reform legislation and craft a final bill.

In a surprise twist, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the No. 2 Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, was named as a conferee instead of Sen. Mark Warner, who was widely expected to be part of the conference.

Other Democrats on the conference are: Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd; Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln; Sens. Tim Johnson, Charles Schumer, Tom Harkin and Jack Reed.

The Republican conferees are: Sen. Richard Shelby, the lead Republican on the Banking Committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the lead GOP member of the Agriculture panel, and Sens. Mike Crapo, Judd Gregg and Bob Corker.

The House is not expected to appoint its conferees until after the Memorial Day recess; Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank is widely expected to chair the conference.

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