Durbin Says GOP Resistance to Reform Will Wear Down

Posted April 22, 2010 at 5:39pm

Updated: 7:37 p.m.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Thursday Democrats might lose their Monday night showdown with the GOP over financial regulatory reform, but that they believe Republicans will begin to defect if the issue is called up again.

“There’s some Republican Senators who have said they’ve promised [Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] one ‘no’ vote on the motion to proceed but not two,” Durbin said. “I think there are a lot of second thoughts on the other side of the aisle about whether or not they want to stand as one opposed to Wall Street reform.”

Durbin also appeared dubious of Republicans’ sincerity in bipartisan negotiations with Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

“There’s been a lot of good vibrations and a lot of representations made to the public and to the media, but so far I don’t think there’s been any real progress, substantive progress, between them,” Durbin said. “I hope that changes. … We’d like to have a bipartisan bill.”

Dodd, who again met with ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Thursday evening, said details were still being discussed between both parties.

“There’s always new wrinkles with things,” Dodd said, noting that any changes Republicans are demanding to a controversial $50 billion resolution account could affect the cost of the bill.

“That’s one thing that we have to consider,” Dodd said, noting that scrapping the fund would likely increase the bill’s cost and pose an issue among fiscal conservatives.

After meeting for more than an hour with Shelby, Dodd said the remaining disputes were “getting narrower and narrower,” and he maintained the two would reach a bipartisan agreement.

Shelby predicted Republicans would stick together Monday to vote against a procedural motion on Dodd’s bill, but that a partisan vote would not poison the bipartisan talks that are ongoing.

“If we have that vote Monday… Republicans will stay together,” Shelby said.