Dodd Will Not Seek Re-Election in November

By Sarah Borchersen-Keto, CCH Washington News Bureau, Contributing Author, the CCH Federal Banking Law Reporter, Jan. 6, 2010.

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., announced January 6 that he will not seek re-election to the Senate this November.

“This is my moment to step aside,” Dodd said, noting that “this past year has raised some challenges that insisted I take stock of my life.” Dodd was expected to have faced a tough fight to retain his seat.

Dodd is in the midst of crafting comprehensive financial reform legislation, which will have to be squared with a bill passed by the House of Representatives in December. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank. D-Mass., said he looks forward “to working closely with him for the rest of this year on finishing the job of significant financial regulatory reform, to which he is committed, and to which he has already worked to advance.”

Meanwhile, Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Concept Capital’s Washington Research Group, wrote in a research note that Dodd’s retirement will be neutral over the short term as he will still need to compromise to get reform through the Senate. “Dodd would like to have his name on a signature piece of legislation. That means compromising to get the Dodd-Shelby-Frank Financial Reform bill enacted,” said Seiberg.

Longer term, however, could be positive for banks as Dodd’s successor as committee chairman “could be friendlier to the industry on issues such as interchange, fee income and international competitiveness.”

Likely successors to Dodd include Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. According to Seiberg, Johnson is most likely to replace Dodd, with Reed helping to run the committee as a subcommittee chairman.