WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – In an unusual move that cuts a senior Republican out of the loop, bipartisan U.S. Senate negotiations have resumed on financial regulation reform, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said on Thursday.
Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, said in a statement that he has begun talks on legislation with Bob Corker, a first-term Republican member of the panel handling a sweeping regulatory overhaul package.
Just six days ago, Dodd said he had hit an impasse with Senator Richard Shelby, the committee’s top Republican, in talks under way for more than a year.
The Obama administration has made tighter financial regulation a top priority for 2010. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a reform bill in December over the objections of Republicans and bank lobbyists.
“I am more optimistic than I have been in several weeks that we can develop a consensus bill to bring about the reforms the financial sector so desperately needs,” Dodd said in a statement on his dealings with Corker.