Senator Chris Dodd will be stepping down from the senate this November but not before he hopes to leave his mark for ever on the financial future of this country.
As Chairman of the Banking Committee, the Irish American senator from Connecticut has been to the forefront of efforts to reform the financial markets and stop the expansion of risky financial instruments which almost drove America into a depression.
Arguably there is no more important task facing this country. The future stability of the American economy may rest on whether he can get a bill through or not.
As of now Republicans are filibustering the bill, hoping for a better deal for Wall Street, though they will dress that up in many different guises,and claim they are speaking for the common man.
Dodd has staked his entire reputation on getting a financial reform bill through, one that most astute observers believe is a fair attempt to address the dangers of out of control speculation that led to the crash.
It is Dodd's last chance on the national stage before he steps down and spends long periods in his beloved Connemara where he has a house.
Efforts to run for president proved bitterly disappointing and he has blotted his reputation in Connecticut by getting a sweetheart mortgage deal by using his position.
Now he knows it is his last chance to shine and the senator seems determine to get the new bill passed.
He can be passionate and convincing as he was Monday night on the floor.
“We are as vulnerable as we are today in the waning days of April 2010 as we were in the fall of 2008 when we saw what happened to our economy,” he said “Nothing has changed, except, of course, jobs have been lost, homes have gone into foreclosure, retirement incomes have evaporated, housing values have declined. Almost $11 trillion in household wealth has been lost.”
Dodd continued, “Now, that’s what’s happened in the last 18 months, but we have yet to stand up and address what caused that to happen in our country, to fill in those gaps, provide the regulation, put the cops on the beat.”
It will be his finest moment if he is successful.
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers