Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd says the controversy over two loans he received will not compromise his ability to lead Congress' efforts to ease the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Dodd's comments came before a speech to the local Chamber of Commerce in Danbury on Monday.

The Senate Banking Committee chairman repeated that he received no special treatment from Countrywide Financial Corp.

Conde Nast Portfolio's Web site first reported more than a week ago that Countrywide made two loans at special rates to Dodd in 2003 to refinance homes in East Haddam, Connecticut, and Washington.

The loans were reportedly part of a program that gave preferential rates to "friends" of the company's chairman and chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.