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Dodd Presents Financial Overhaul Legislation
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Senator and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd predicts Congress will pass an overhaul of the financial markets this year. Today he introduced a plan he says will benefit Connecticut residents. Manuel Quinones reports from Washington.

Dodd says his legislation represents the largest market overhaul since the 1930’s. It creates a council to monitor economic troubles, gives shareholders more of a say in executive pay and beefs up government tools to deal with troubled banks. Republicans are still not buying it.

“It does not as of yet enjoy bipartisan support. But we do need to act.”

Dodd says the bill will help protect Connecticut consumers by creating a new protection agency within the Federal Reserve system. It’s not a stand-alone agency as many Democrats wanted but would have budget and rule-making power to protect people when getting loans or credit.

“The root cause of our economic crisis was the lack of consumer protection. Those sub-prime mortgages without proper underwriting standards, all the things that various consumer protection divisions within various regulators were supposed to be watching for and didn’t.”

While the proposed legislation toughens bank regulation, Dodd says it preserves the state banking system which oversees community banks in Connecticut and elsewhere.

Republicans wanted a more lenient bill and more time to negotiate. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker - who has been in talks with Dodd -- released a statement saying he can’t support the legislation as presented.

Dodd plans to hold committee sessions to discuss amendments to the legislation next week.

For WNPR in Washington, I'm Manuel Quinones -- Capitol News Connection.