Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Dodd Decides Against Taking Over Senate Health Committee

Updated version of a Sept. 8 report
By Paul Kane and Ben Pershing
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has decided to remain chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, rather than succeeding his close friend and mentor, the late Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) as chairman of the Senate's health committee.

"We have important work to do on the Banking Committee, and I intend to see it through as chairman," Dodd said in a statement. "The Banking Committee is of vital importance to Connecticut, responsible for issues central to the economic security and prosperity of the people of my state."

The decision left the chairmanship of the HELP Committee to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who follows Dodd in seniority.

Harkin is currently chairman of the Agriculture Committee and will give up that position. He will be replaced at Agriculture by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who faces a difficult reelection bid in 2010. Three other Democrats on the committee have more seniority than her: Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Max Baucus (Mont.). But each holds a more prestigious chairmanship already: Judiciary, Budget and Finance, respectively.

Though he has chosen not to take the top job on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel, Dodd said he does plan to honor the pledge he made to Kennedy to lead the fight on health care. "I intend to keep the promise I made," he said. "And so, I am pleased that I will able to continue the role he asked me to take on as the HELP Committee's leader on health care reform."

Dodd also faces a difficult reelection race in 2010, and he emphasized Wednesday that his decision would be good for residents of Connecticut, as he will lead the charge for financial regulatory reform.

"We're up against a lot of well-financed special interests fighting for the status quo," Dodd said. "But I don't work for them. I work for the people of Connecticut."

While Kennedy battled brain cancer for 15 months, Dodd, Harkin and other Democrats on the committee divided up the chairman's responsibilities, with Dodd overseeing the panel's health-care legislation. When the Senate takes up that critical legislation later this year, Dodd is expected to continue being the public face of the committee's effort, a decision that might give him a boost in a tough reelection battle in 2010.

By remaining as Banking chairman, Dodd will now oversee the complex rewriting of regulations governing the financial services industry -- a sector that critics have accused him of being too close to in his personal and legislative dealings. A financial regulatory bill with tough new regulations on that industry might help beat back some of those critics.

By Paul Kane  |  September 9, 2009; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sen. Martinez Takes a Bow
Next: The Congressman Who Shouted 'Lie' in a Crowded Chamber

Comments


Dodd Banking Committee constituency is more lucrative than HELP. But he'll still rake it in for being point on health care.

Surprised Harkin is dumping Ag, given how important it is to Iowa.

Barbara Mikulski would have been a fiery chairman of HELP. Has to be frustrating for her if she doesn't get it.

Posted by: DagnyT | September 8, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Good God - that would have been like replacing cancer with leprosy. Dodd is corrupt as they get.

Posted by: birvin9999 | September 8, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The corrupted, lobbyist controlled Devils you know.

Some change.

The Banker's Grandson, his Chief of Staff, the investment banker, and Government Sachs, Inc. are ecstatic.

Ka Ching.


Banker Pay will set even higher levels.

Posted by: fdffjdjjf-0999--88888 | September 8, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

It is underdtandable of Lincoln to want the coveted Ag Chair. She is trying to bolster up support out in the rural areas. She is at her weakest in those areas because of her lask of attention and the message Independent candidate Trevor Drown is bringing to the people on the farms. His common man for the common man with uncommon leadership is proving to be effective. Instead of hanging around Little Rock and the rest of the urban built up areas like the republicans, Drown is choosing to listen to people everyday out in the country.

Posted by: PolyArkie | September 8, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

It is understandable of Lincoln to want the coveted Ag Chair. She is trying to bolster up support out in the rural areas. She is at her weakest in those areas because of her lack of attention and the message Independent candidate Trevor Drown is bringing to the people on the farms. His common man for the common man with uncommon leadership is proving to be effective. Instead of hanging around Little Rock and the rest of the urban built up areas like the republicans, Drown is choosing to listen to people everyday out in the country.

Posted by: PolyArkie | September 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Where is Big Shot McCain in this deal. Isn't he the Secretary of Health this week ? We need BS in there to tell us, "Listen to me, you are making a big mistake".

Perhaps BS McCain is still the Secretary of Defense this week. How are those troop strength numbers in Afghanistan BS ? Am sure the Senate Christian Baptist Caucus will deny Charity in the end by killing this bill.

Another week in Congress, another ClusterFook.

Posted by: truthhurts | September 8, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse


Sen. Dodd (D-Conn.) doesn't want the chairmanship of the Senate's health committee because there isn't enough high profile. Sen. Kennedy is dead so now he doesn't have to pretend that Kennedy was his mentor and friend.

What a phony!


Posted by: mortified469 | September 8, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Admitted liar Dodd should never darken the Senate again. The guy is a true scumbag almost equal to Charlie Rangel and Barney.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | September 8, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Dodd should stand up and call for a medical stand down of Obama for NPD sociopathic dual profiles.

He took the heat on a change Obama threw into a bill, a owes no allegiance to a dictatorship.

Dodd suprised me with this weenie stance, and brought a lot of No Confidence to the entire Congress by letting bad ethics slide.

Posted by: dottydo | September 8, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Senator Dodd represents the worst of the oversight of the US Banking system. Senator Dodd is part of the problem. He has taken advantage of his position to enrich himself. (Countrywide Mortgage Company)

Senator Dodd by remaining as the Senate Banking Committee ensures that the corrupt banking system remains intact

Posted by: MichaelLittleBig | September 8, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

This move keeps the Senator from SD from being the chair of the Banking & Finance. South Dakota won the race to have the weakest consumer credit laws in the country. Congress wrote a vague law and the Supreme Court decided that the laws of the state that the bank, rather than the state that the consumer is in determines the rules for the transaction. So the credit card companies moved to South Dakota to have their way with consumers. Senator Johnson is seen as beholden to the credit card companies. So Senator Dodd keeping the chairmanship is a good thing for consumers.

Posted by: cyberfool | September 8, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Dodd, yet another draft dodging career politician and... you guessed it lawyer scum.

Horray, another unqualified spender of other people's money.

How about doctor for Health Chair?

Novel idea, wonder why there are like 3 MDs in congress? hmm, wonder why... if you don't know you shouldn't be voting

Posted by: docwhocuts | September 8, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Dodd needs to find another partner for his waitress sandwiches.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | September 8, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

So what does it take to get him to leave the Senate Banking as well. Dodd and Schumer sat back and let the capital go into a death spiral topped off with an incompetent SEC and they did nothing. Dodd and Schumer were afraid that if they stepped in to clean up the mess they would lose campaign contributions. They let the SEC slide into a captured operation to protect their own private financial turf (kickbacks).

Posted by: Patchie | September 8, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The chair should go to the senior Senator from Maryland: Mikulski. Yeah, she's tough but that's what we need now. Not passing it to her will be a slap in the face. Harkin should stay where he is; Lincoln needs to learn how to campaign better. Mikulsi should take the helm of HELP. If they give the Ag Chair to Lincoln, then they are telling the most senior woman in Congress that she doesn't count. That's crap.

Posted by: bustedrocks | September 8, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Dodd's decision will please the Democratic Senate leadership and may have been done in concert with them as it will mean Tim Johnson with his questionable health does not become Banking Chairman. Dodd has an opportunity to come out a winner politically as he'll probably help manage the health care bill on the Senate floor and will have an opportunity to redeem himself on banking issues with regulatory reform of the financial sector later this year.

Harkin will be a good choice at the HELP committee (historically this was the Senate Labor Committee---don't know why they had to change the name to some goofy acronmym--as it was Labor and Human Resources, and before that Labor and Public Welfare). Harkin is a real solid liberal who has been heavily involved in Health, Education and Labor issues through the years.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | September 8, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Where is Big Shot McCain in this deal. Isn't he the Secretary of Health this week ? We need BS in there to tell us, "Listen to me, you are making a big mistake".

Perhaps BS McCain is still the Secretary of Defense this week. How are those troop strength numbers in Afghanistan BS ? Am sure the Senate Christian Baptist Caucus will deny Charity in the end by killing this bill.

Another week in Congress, another ClusterFook.

Posted by: truthhurts | September 8, 2009 8:22 PM
========================
You really need to stop your obsession with the minority party. I'm sorry the democratic party is showing how dirty and corrupt they are now that they are in power but you can only blind yourself so long.

Democrats are so caught up in so many special interests and their personal corruption schemes they can't even pass bills with a supermajority unless the bills have payoffs across the board.

Fortunately the moderates and independents are seeing the democrats for what they are; corrupt dirty politicians who completely lied to the public to get elected on a moderate tone and now are pursuing a far left agenda.

Posted by: Cryos | September 9, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Boy,Chris must of tossed and turned for a few sleepless nights,trying to decide....Whats better?...Special "Friends" Mortgage and Re-FI Deals,and a nice Retirement Bank Industry Job for forgetting about putting in those pesky bonus-pay restrictions in TARP Deals for Zombie Banks...or maybe I can get free Hospital Treatments and low cost medical attention...but wait...I all ready get the best and lowest cost Medical Plan available in the U.S. since I represent the "People" of this fair land...I better stick to stuffing my pockets with "Contributions" from the "Re-Born" Zombie Banks,and plan on a sweet second career in Finance,and still have enough time to write a college textbook on Ethics.

Posted by: jeromejmarkiewicz | September 9, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Its not surprising that a theif wouldn't give up his cookie jar for a bandaid...but don't worry...2010 is coming.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 9, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse

follow-up...Dodd the theif knows he won't be back in 2010 so the theif wants to steal all he can will being Banking Chairman...he doesn't need to worry about Labor and Pensions with all he's already stolen....besides, Health-care isn't a issue with him..he has stolen money to use for his 'personal healthcare' and prostate treatment.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 9, 2009 5:12 AM | Report abuse

i can only hope dodd will be in a unemployment line soon, i here his poll numbers are sinking faster then the titanic i don't care if its a democrat or republican or even the green party as long as he is history

Posted by: getsix1 | September 9, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Would you allow your accountant to continue making financial decisions for you when they have proven time and time again that they make the wrong choices?!?

The same question should be asked for anything Congress wants to pass, until they learn that decisions this large needs to be debated and done right; not shoved down our throats.

DO NOT LET THEM PASS ANYTHING UNTIL AFTER 2010 Congressional Elections!!!

Posted by: indep2 | September 9, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I second nominating Barbara Mikulski as the new HELP chair. She's a much more suitable replacement for our Ted. She chairs two subcommittees now - nothing to keep her from taking the reins - and I don't think we have any female committee chairs in the Senate at present, do we? Time to move into the late twentieth-century, guys.

Posted by: cynthiadogmom | September 9, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The only group Dodd should be in charge of is Laundry in a jail ! I guess he thinks he can get more money from banks-he certainly has in the past. I and many of my fellow Ct citizens look foward to defeating him in the Democratic Primary or if necessary in the general election next year.

Posted by: mct1 | September 9, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Dodd got a whiff of the flowers and decided that it was not in his best interest to be the Senate spokesperson for Obamacare come 2010. It is very likely that that some bill is going to be passed, and it is also likely most (more than 50%) are not going to like it. With most provisions not going into effect until 2013, there is A TON O' TIME for opponents to criticize and deconstruct the legislation.

You don't want to be Mr. Obama's point man in the Senate during that period.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 9, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

With Chris Dodd, of the ethically challenged Senatorial Dodds of Connecticut, as chairman of the banking committee in the Senate, and Barney Frank chairing the House counterpart, our financial system is doomed, doomed, doomded..

Posted by: sailhardy | September 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Help!

Harkin is an alternative medicine wacko.

While some feel that alternative cures are a cost cutter because people who follow them die faster than those who go with conventional medicine Harkin has been outspoken about adding quack cures to the Medicare-ok-to-pay list.

He's even leaned on NIH to generate more positive results for their studies of alternative cures. Most of us would like to think that NIH's conclusions are based on the facts, not on what the dear Senator wants.

This does not bode well...

Posted by: RedBird27 | September 9, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company