Excellent news: Dodd gives up on the GOP

Finally, a sign of progress in the Senate's effort to pass financial reform: The Dems will go it alone

Topics: Bank Reform, How the World Works, Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.,

Excellent news: Dodd gives up on the GOPU.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd listens to a testimony at the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington in this July 23, 2009 file photo. Dodd will announce on January 6, 2010 he will not seek re-election in November, two senior Democratic party aides said. The news, coupled with another Democrat's retirement announcement, underscored the fragility of the Democrats' Senate majority, which is just enough to push President Barack Obama's agenda past Republican procedural obstacles. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)(Credit: Reuters)

A sign of backbone from Chris Dodd?

Congressional Quarterly reports:

Bipartisan negotiations over a financial regulatory overhaul are at an “impasse,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd said Friday, adding ” have instructed my staff to begin drafting legislation to present to the committee later this month.The Connecticut Democrat said in a statement that while the panel’s ranking Republican, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, “assured me that he is still committed to finding a consensus … it is time to move the process forward.”

Translation: The Republicans are refusing to budge on their determination to block any meaningful reform. And why not? They’ve made the political calculation that preventing the Obama administration from governing is their best electoral strategy — and it’s been working like a charm.

But in our dysfunctional government, an “impasse” may actually be a sign of progress. Bipartisan consensus in this Congress is impossible. Now is the time to bring a solid bill to the floor, and force Republicans to filibuster. If the Democrats want to have any chance of salvaging the midterm elections, they need to show voters that they are willing to fight.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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