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US Sen Dodd sees bank reform boost from healthcare
WASHINGTON, March 25 |
WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - Prospects for U.S. Senate passage of financial reform have been boosted by a shift in mood in Congress following a Democratic victory on healthcare, Senator Christopher Dodd said on Thursday.
"The healthcare thing kind of changed the atmospherics around here," Dodd, of Connecticut, told reporters in a Capitol hallway.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee has played key roles in both issues. Looking ahead, he said he expects Republicans who want to work with him on financial reform have been encouraged by the healthcare overhaul.
"A number of Republicans went along with the strategy of just saying no, but were never happy with it," Dodd said.
"If it worked, they would go along. But they saw it fail, and now they've had enough of it, and they really want to be involved in crafting things," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama signed healthcare reform into law this week after it was approved by Congress over the objections of Republicans who fought for months to block it.
Up to now, the Republicans have pursued a similar strategy on proposals from Obama and the Democrats to tighten government oversight of banks and capital markets after a financial crisis drove the U.S. economy into a deep recession.
Dodd scored a win on Monday, when the banking committee approved his financial reform bill by a 13-10 vote, with all Republicans voting in opposition.
Since then, Republican Senator Bob Corker, who failed to reach a bipartisan agreement with Dodd, has said Republicans erred in deciding at the last minute not to try to amend the measure in committee.
On Corker's frustration with his party's strategy, Dodd said, "People like him and others are tired of being told, 'Just say no to everything.' You don't come here to do that." (Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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