Comprehensive Financial Reform Bill Faces Conference Next

The massive measure will create with many call a historic conference committee to resolve differences.

Published on: May 24, 2010

While there's a lot of ballyhoo over the latest vote on the financial reform measure, now the real negotiating begins as the House and Senate pull together a conference committee to hammer out differences.

The aim is to get a final bill in President Obama's hands before the July 4 recess. Next step in the process is to name conferees to that conference committee. This involves some political jockeying for position since a lot of lawmakers would like to be picked for what will be a high-stakes deal ahead of the fall election.

Conference committee members should be selected today. The committee will include seven Democrats and five Republicans on the panel.

There's a lot of guessing going on, likely Democratic picks - according to some wire services - include Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd, who is a lead author of the Senate version of the bill. The ranking Republican on the banking committee - Richard Shelby - is expected on the committee too.

The agriculture committee will have members on the conference as well due in part to the fact that the reform measure will have jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

On the House side, there's talk that Pelosi will wait until after the Memorial Day recess to make her picks, given that her attention is focused on that jobs measure - which includes the biodiesel tax incentive.

After the conference committee is formed, and hammers out the compromise measure, the bill returns to both chambers for a final vote.