Democrats Move to Strengthen Financial Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats are stepping up their efforts to win some Republican support for their financial regulatory overhaul efforts.

They're toughening the rules on complex securities known as derivatives in a move that could attract the support of at least a couple of Republicans. Sen. Christopher Dodd has agreed to toughen the sweeping bill with new rules on derivatives despite objections from the Obama administration. That comes from a Democratic official familiar with the negotiations. The restrictions adopted by Dodd were written and approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee last week.

Derivatives are blamed for helping cause the 2008 Wall Street crisis.

The new rules include a requirement that banks spin off their derivatives businesses into subsidiaries with separate sources of capital. Banks fiercely have opposed the provision.

The language initially approved last week had the support of Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Olympia Snowe.

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