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Dodd Sticks With Banking

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Sen. Christopher Dodd says he will continue to be chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in the 111th Congress.

Dodd, D-Conn., says he will keep his current committee chairmanship “to build an economy that is strong and in which every American has the opportunity to succeed.”

Revising regulation of the financial services industry will be a top priority for the committee in the coming year, Dodd says.

Dodd is emphasizing the need for careful thought.

“The danger in moments like this is that we overreact,” Dodd says.

Regulatory modernization, including consumer protection, will be “our first legislative objective,” but “it will not be our exclusive objective,” Dodd says.

President Bush could help by officially nominating President-elect Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary for that post, so that Congress can confirm the pick during the lame duck session that is set to start the week of Nov. 17, Dodd says.

The Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over the Treasury Department and would have to process the nomination.

Some had speculated that Dodd might leave the Senate Banking Committee to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Dodd also has the seniority to take over as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which now is headed by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association, Washington, says the AIA welcomes Dodd’s decision to stay on as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

“Senator Dodd understands the enormous complexities involved in dealing with the global financial markets and its regulatory structure,” Racicot says. “He is well-equipped to address the economic crisis facing our country, and has a strong working knowledge of the insurance and the insurance marketplace.”