Factbox: Next step for Wall Street bill? Conference committee

(BestGrowthStock) – The House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed to create what promises to be a historic “conference committee” to resolve differences between their chambers’ respective bills to crack down on Wall Street.

Once this bipartisan panel reaches a deal on the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, the House and Senate would have to approve it before the measure can be sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

With Democrats in control of Congress, they will be the majority on the committee and they aim to get a final bill to the president by the July 4 recess.

Here is how it works:

* Senate and House Republican and Democratic leaders name “conferees.” conferees. Plenty of lawmakers would like to get picked so they will be at the table for the high-stakes deal ahead of the November congressional election. The Democratic chairs and top Republicans of key committees will likely be picked, along with a mix of other lawmakers.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to select their conferees on Monday. There will be seven Democrats and five Republicans on the panel.

* Likely Senate picks include Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat and chief author of the Senate bill. He is likely to be joined by Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on Dodd’s panel.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln, another likely pick, will have fight to make sure her provision to require banks to spin off lucrative swap-trading desks stays in the final bill over the objections of Republicans, many regulators and some Democrats.

Senator Saxby Chambliss, the Agriculture Committee’s top Republican, will also likely be a conferee.

The Agriculture Committee is a player in financial reform since it has jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Other possible Senate conferees include: Democrats Jack Reed and Charles Schumer and Republicans Judd Gregg and Bob Corker.

* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader John Boehner will name their chamber’s conferees. The number and ratio of Democrats to Republicans has not been determined yet. But Democrats will get a majority.

Pelosi may wait until after the Memorial Day holiday to make her picks. She is busy next week with other matters, such as a multibillion-dollar jobs bill and legislation to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regardless of timing, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Democrat, is expected to be named along with his panel’s top Republican, Representative Spencer Bachus.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson will likely be a conferee as well, joined by Representative Frank Lucas, the panel’s top Republican.

* Democrats and Republicans are calling for an “open conference” so the public can watch as decisions are made. Yet many conferees are likely to be reached in private phone calls and e-mails.

Do not be surprised, however, to see the full — or at least most — of the conference committee when the accord is formally announced.

* Once the conference comes up with a new bill, the House and Senate are not permitted to make any further changes before voting on it. Republicans could try to raise procedural roadblocks that would take 60 votes to clear in the 100-member chamber. But with Democrats controlling 59 seats and polls showing public support, they seem certain to handle any obstacles.

* While there is no guarantee that a conference committee will reach an agreement, Chris Krueger of Concept Capital, a private firm that tracks Washington for investors, said he is confident it won’t fail on financial regulation.

“There is just too much momentum,” Krueger said.

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Factbox: Next step for Wall Street bill? Conference committee