(CNN) - Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America and a former U.S. senator, dismissed as "predictable" on Friday the idea that movies play a role in spurring gun violence and instead said the nation's mental health systems should be the subject of attention in the quest to reduce gun deaths.
"It's sort of predictable, in a way, and if you go back over the years, there were people who suggested that comic books were the reason before any of this existed," he said at the National Press Club. "So there's been - if you go back and look at the history, any time one of these things happens, there's kind of a lurching from time to time to suggest that this is the root cause of the problems."
Washington (CNN) - Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd will be the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the powerful Hollywood lobbying group that advocates for the American motion picture and television industries.
The MPAA on Tuesday officially announced Dodd as their new chairman and chief executive officer. Dodd became a widely speculated candidate for the coveted post after announcing last January that he would not seek reelection, ending a 30-year Senate career.
(CNN) - Followers of Sen. Chris Dodd on Twitter received quite the surprise Thursday morning in the form of a profanity-laced tweet.
At 11:36 a.m. ET the Connecticut Democrat's almost 13,000 followers saw, "U love torturing me with this sh**."
(CNN) – As President Obama is poised to name consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren to a new role, progressive groups are issuing a warning: they want her to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and nothing less.
"It's still completely on the table that she'd be given a permanent appointment, and if the Wall Street types in the White House tried to stab her in the back and give someone else that role, there'd be hell to pay with progressives," says Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. "That would be a really stupid move right as the president gears up his own re-election."
Green's group helped organize a campaign pressuring the White House to nominate Warren for the top job at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency she initially proposed. Warren is beloved by progressive groups who see her as a fierce advocate for "regular Americans" and a worthy opponent for Wall Street.
After a string of disappointments with the White House, a number of progressive groups – who believe they were crucial to the President's election – have taken up Warren's cause with determination.
What the White House is doing today falls short of the progressives wish. In her new role at Treasury, Warren will be empowered to design and set up the new agency – not run it. A White House official says the administration expects Warren's role at Treasury to last for months not years.
Washington (CNN) - With administration officials acknowledging Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren is under consideration as either temporary or permanent head of the powerful consumer financial protection agency, the Democratic chair of the Senate Banking Committee said it would be a mistake for the White House to bypass the Senate confirmation process by naming her as interim chief.
"I'm not enthusiastic about that. I think it will be met with a lot of opposition," Sen. Chris Dodd told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday.
President Obama has publically praised Warren, but there are questions on Capitol Hill as to whether Democrats can get the 60 votes needed to confirm her, especially during the election season.
"It's a big job, it's an important job," Dodd said. "You've got to build the support for it institutionally. Or in the next Congress - none of us know what the outcome is going to be, politically - you could gut this before it even gets off the ground. If you don't have someone running it early on it jeopardizes the existence of the consumer protection bureau."
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - After a grueling 20-hour session, lawmakers early Friday finished melding the House and Senate Wall Street reform bills, bringing Congress closer to passing the most sweeping changes to the financial system since the New Deal.
Finishing at 5:39 a.m. ET, 43 lawmakers agreed to send to their respective chambers a final bill that aims to strengthen consumer protection, shine a light on complex financial products, create a new process for taking down giant, failing financial firms, and make them stronger to prevent such failure.
The votes were 20-11 among House negotiators and 7-5 among Senate negotiators, strictly along party lines. The room erupted into claps and hugs when it was all done, with staffers shaking hands and saying, "big bill."
Related: What's in the reform bill?
In one of their final votes, lawmakers renamed the legislation the Dodd-Frank Bill for the lawmakers who led the work on the reforms: Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. The chamber erupted in cheers on the motion's approval.
"It's the most extraordinary experience," Frank said. "You hate to have the kind of pain that so many people went through in this economic crisis, but it just doubled our resolve to get it done."
Frank and Dodd insisted on pushing forward and wrapping up the negotiations, to ready the bill for final passage by each chamber before Congress adjourns for the Independence Day recess.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Wall Street is poised to score a victory in its efforts to beat back a crackdown on banks that trade the complex financial products known as derivatives.
On Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., proposed a compromise change to the Wall Street reform bill that would water down a proposed ban on derivatives trading by many financial firms.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., has been a driver of the push on the swaps ban. Her measure ranks among the top hangups threatening final passage of the overall reform bill.
Lincoln was in Arkansas on Tuesday facing a tough primary election. Her spokeswoman said she would fight to keep the ban.
"Sen. Lincoln is fully committed to her provision and will fight efforts to weaken it," said Lincoln spokeswoman Katie Laning Niebaum. "Her proposal has received bipartisan support and she will defend it on the Senate floor."
Full story on CNNMoney.com
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Top senators on the banking panel released the details of a bipartisan deal on how to unwind big financial firms that are considered too big to fail.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said he's finished making changes to an amendment to the Wall Street reform bill that concerned Republicans like Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
Dodd and Shelby reached an agreement in principle last week, and now the Senate will vote on this amendment later this afternoon.
Among the more significant changes, Democrats are officially dropping the tax on banks that would have funded a $50 billion pot of money that regulators could tap to help take down failing banks. Now the bill stipulates that banks will be taxed to pay unwinding banks after a collapse.
Full story on CNNMoney.com
Washington (CNN) - As many Americans rail against big banks and lawmakers push for financial reform, Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Chris Dodd of Connecticut will attend a New York fundraiser with some top Democratic donors who also have ties to Wall Street.
The Monday fundraiser will be hosted by Jane Hartley, a longtime Gillibrand supporter, at her Manhattan home. Hartley does not work in the financial industry, but her husband is Ralph Schlosstein, president and CEO of the investment firm Evercore Partners. Schlosstein also served in the Carter administration.
Politicians have long rubbed elbows with Wall Street executives, who have traditionally been an important source of campaign dollars. But Gillibrand and Dodd's attendance at the event could prove politically embarrassing.
Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which is deeply involved in crafting legislation to reform to Wall Street. In November, Gillibrand hopes to win a full six year term after New York Gov. David Paterson appointed her to the seat left vacant when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.
The senators' attendance at the event could give critics political ammunition in what has become a major battle over which party is cozier with Wall Street.