Lawmakers return from summer recess today with grand plans to overhaul the structure of financial services regulation, but they are up against a rapidly dwindling legislative calendar without a clear consensus on how to proceed.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd are still committed to sending a bill to the White House this year, but there are significant differences in how each would approach the various reform pieces. Lawmakers have yet to settle on nearly any part of reform, including the creation of a consumer financial protection agency and its powers, who should oversee systemic risk and how best to discourage institutions from becoming "too big to fail."

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