Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd said he could bring a card bill up for a vote in the full Senate as soon as this week and he may proceed even without a deal with Republicans.
The Connecticut Democrat told reporters Wednesday that he was anxious to move forward on card reform. "I would certainly like to see us lay down the credit card bill if that's at all possible either tomorrow night or Friday," he said.
He has been working with Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the panel's top Republican, on a compromise. Though Dodd said he felt confident they could reach an agreement, he also said he would not delay the bill to get to that point.
"We're close," he said. "We're down to a few issues, but they are ones we are quite confident we can resolve, and if we can't, you just go forward. I do my best to achieve those things, and every now and then you come to a point where you've gone as far as you can, and it achieves a lot, and you lay down a marker, and you may just have to have a jump ball on some of these matters."
Dodd said it was "unclear" whether he has the votes in the Senate, though he believes the issue is a popular one that will find broad support.
The bill would codify much of the regulatory restrictions due to go into effect in mid-2010 on credit cards and would speed up the implementation. It would also put restrictions on offering cards to minors, among other things.