Some congressional Democrats want to fashion a bill that forces a basic banking industry restructuring, but leaders will have to balance that agenda against the need to forge compromise legislation that retains some Republican support.
Analysts are expecting that fundamental restructuring will be avoided, "This bill is more about profitability and less about viability. That means the legislation will hurt the banking sector, but it will not sink it," said Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst at investment firm Concept Capital.
The delicate task of crafting a winning compromise will fall to Representative Barney Frank, who will chair the "conference committee" getting under way in a few days, and Senator Christopher Dodd, a consensus builder who will lead the Senate negotiating team.
Both lawmakers are old-school liberal Democrats with more than 60 years on Capitol Hill between them. They will need all of that experience to finish up a legislative project that is at the top of President Barack Obama's priority list.