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Dodd Warns Democrats To Get On 'same Page' On Bailout

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd is urging his Democratic colleagues in both chambers to get  “on the same page” on the proposed bailout legislation or risk delays in passing a bill.

“You can’t do it [sending a bill] from one House to the other House, like you are marking up a defense authorization bill,” Dodd told reporters Tuesday evening. “There has to be one answer in this that involves all of the principals sitting down and trying to work at it.” 

“Hopefully, the House will understand that’s important to do.”

Tensions have emerged over the last few days between Dodd and his counterpart in the House-- Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank--as Dodd’s committee chose not to participate in talks between the Treasury Department and House staffers on the bailout until very late in the process over the weekend.

As of Tuesday evening, Democratic leaders were still contemplating which changes they would push for to the administration’s proposal.

Dodd assured reporters that he is “trying to get it done” and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been calling House Democratic leaders in order to keep all parties on the same page.

However, when asked why Democrats from both chambers were not already in a room together hammering out a compromise, Dodd only responded “because of the nature of the institution” and did not elaborate.

The Connecticut Democrat also said Tuesday’s hearing with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was productive, because it  helped convince Paulson that he was going to have to negotiate with Congress over the terms of the bailout.

“This isn’t Goldman Sachs, you are going to have to work up here,” Dodd said. “This isn’t where you come out in the morning and announce something and the world says yes…I hope he understood that members care about this stuff and you are going to have to deal with it.”