Banking Committee expected to greenlight Dodd’s financial reform bill

Vote on much-debated legislation to be taken tonight

By Dan Jamieson

Mar 22, 2010 @ 5:45 pm (Updated 7:13 am) EST

The financial reform package unveiled a week ago by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is expected to be voted out of the Senate Banking Committee tonight.

A key issue for financial advisers — a provision subjecting stockbrokers to a fiduciary duty under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 — was dropped from the Dodd bill last week. That provision will remain out of the legislation expected to pass today, said Neil Simon, vice president of government relations at the Investment Adviser Association.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a committee member, told

this morning that the panel will vote out the Dodd bill later today on a party-line vote.

Observers had expected an arduous debate and mark-up process this week in the committee, which was set to begin consideration of the bill at 5 p.m. Eastern time today.

Mr. Corker had been in discussions all weekend with Mr. Dodd, the committee chairma, and indicated that the bill had moved too far to the "left" of what Republican members wanted.

"We probably have a better opportunity … with the full Senate … to do something that is sound, policywise," Mr. Corker said on CNBC.

"My guess is … over the next several weeks the real negotiations will take place," he said.

There were nearly 500 amendments lined up, designed to "gum up" the mark-up process, Mr. Simon said.

"I don't know [Mr.] Dodd's thinking, but maybe he thought if this is going to be difficult, let's just do it once on the Senate floor instead of twice," Mr. Simon said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Dodd and the Senate Banking Committee did not immediate return calls.