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With the conference committee set to start meeting today to come up with a final version of financial reform legislation, the finance industry whores on the committee (aka Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) are doing their best to backpedal on Blanche Lincoln’s provision to force the big banks to spin off their derivatives operations.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd [$3.1 million from Finance Industry PACs], a skeptic on the Lincoln plan, called it a “strong provision” and said she “was on the right track.” He did not, however, agree with his Democratic colleagues Wednesday who said Lincoln’s election win would make it harder to eliminate the provision.

And Frank [$2.3 million], who is chairing the conference committee, gave no indication Wednesday of where he intended to steer the House-Senate conference on the issue.”

No big surprise here either:

“The plan faces opposition from the administration, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.”

Change you can believe in.