April 13th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
4 years ago

McConnell tells GOP: Vote no on Wall Street bill

(CNN) - The Senate's top Republican on Tuesday called on Republicans to oppose the Democratic Wall Street reform bill because it does not adequately safeguard against the government's power to bail out massive banks in the future.

"If there is one thing Americans agree on when it comes to financial reform, it's absolutely sure they agree on this," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a speech on the Senate floor. "Never again should tax payers be expected to bail out Wall Street from its own mistakes. We cannot allow endless tax payer-funded bailouts for big wall street banks."

The 1,300-page bill, sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, aims to create a new consumer regulator housed inside the Federal Reserve to ensure consumers get a fair shake with mortgages and credit cards. It would also push banks and financial firms to strengthen capital cushions and create a new process for taking down giant failing companies and preventing future Wall Street bailouts.

But McConnell suggested Tuesday that any new reform bill must include a categorical provision that the government will not bail out financial companies.

"The fact is this bill wouldn't solve the problems that led to the financial crisis; it would make them worse," McConnell said. "This bill not only allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street banks, it institutionalizes them."

The Dodd bill would steer big financial firms near collapse toward special bankruptcy proceedings, allowing them to wind down more quickly than under the existing system. The legislation would create a $50 billion resolution fund by taxing the largest firms. The fund would be used to pick up part of the tab for firms that need help beyond the bankruptcy system. The bill also holds out the possibility of additional taxes on large firms after a failed company has tapped the fund.

"No one honestly thinks $50 billion would be enough to cover the kind of crises we are talking about," McConnell said. "The mere existence of this fund will ensure that its get used."

- CNNMoney.com's Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report


Filed under: Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Jacksonville Bill

    Senator McConnell,

    For the good of America, please resign.

    April 13, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Frank

    McConnell's (and the GOP's) position on this legislation, if acted upon in late 2008, would now have our nation in another Great Depression! Does nobody in the GOP understand national and international credit markets or the velocity of money controlled by the Federal Reserve? It is a bad thing to bail out financial institutions, but a much worse one not to when the economy would have collapsed. Why do we suppose European and Asian central banks did the same thing? Is everyone out of step except the GOP? How stupid.

    April 13, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. mel

    I just went back in history..do you realize there has only been 1 Republican in 100 years that has lowerd the unemployment rate..compared to 6 Democrats.now that should tell you about the Gop..go in google it up, the proof is in the pudding.

    April 13, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Billy J..Texas..

    Wow! Talk about subterfuge. I was wondering how the folks (left and right) were going to cover their tracks as they kill any chance of wall street reform. What a bunch of liars. Any of them... that vote against reform. Democrat or Republican. They are all bought off, or being blackmailed by wall streets lobbyists. pheh!

    April 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. rdepontb

    I'm a Dem, but this one particular issue-never pulling Wall Street thieves out of the fire due to their own greed, ever again-looks like an absolute must. We must send the clear message that this BS has to stop.

    April 13, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Ben in Texas

    How many ways can you say, "No"? McConnell will find every one, I'm sure. The bill to control Wall Street is going to be very popular with voters, so this will be a hard "no" for Mitch the Twitch to cast. He's spinning it as "not tough enough", which will never fly, but is the only option he has. He is committed to obstructionism, so the only thing he can do is hope his "no" doesn't cost him votes.

    However, at the same time, he is making it more and more likely that the American people will scream a big "NO" at the Repugnants in November. After all, why would we vote for a do-nothing party that sat on its hands while the country deteriorated as the result of that very party's 8 years of misrule?

    April 13, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. FATillery

    Mr. McConnell to exclude that option from any future financial contingency is silly and, as has been the case with everything proposed by this administration, obstructionist.

    April 13, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. sharon

    ??????????the GOP........giving advice about massive spending????

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8 YEARS OF BUSH ONOMICS....................................

    THE GOP ITSELF CAN NOT STAY OUT OF THE CLUBS..................

    GET A GRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. John

    No says McConnell, we're for Wall Street firms and the same deregulation policy that led these greedy corporate schills to siphon money from American taxpayers for the better part of the last 20 years.

    Don't even try to posture yourself as someone who's for the American taxpayer. Your party has never fought for middle class job creation and lower taxes for the middle class.

    Go away. Quickly.

    April 13, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Edwin

    So, according to McConnell, it is not quite good enough, so it should be rejected.

    That kind of logic is getting REALLY old.

    Unless McConnell has his own bill to fix the mess, or even an amendment to add, he should SHUT UP.

    April 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Ben

    Mitch, not all Americans agree with you. This American believes that the government should "bail out" wall street firms if their failure poses a systemic risk to the country's economy and financial system. Without the bail-out of Wall Street this country would have been ruined. It was necessary.

    April 13, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. united

    The republicans are really an ill group of people. They say that they are against the bailout but when a democrat comes up with legislation that would curb that sort of thing the first thing they do is oppose it. What hypocrites. If it was possible and the democrats came up with a bill that would guarantee sunshine everyday even when it rained the republicans would oppose that. They don't want any law put into place unless they put it there. Spoiled brats!

    April 13, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Clint, Wa.

    Would you expect anything less from him or them?

    April 13, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Marc

    First, there were no 'bail outs' or rather the money wasn't 'given' to the banks. They received it and paid it back (with interests) and those who may have not done it yet are in the process of doing it.
    Don't you guys remember all the fuss that the banks' CEOs created when they announced that those obscene 'extra paychecks' would be back (since they had back the complete control of the money their banks had in deposits and such)?
    Second, a Republican telling his fellow Republicans to vote 'no'... BIG NEWS...

    April 13, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Carmelle

    Instead voting NO

    WHY DON'T YOU OFFER AMENDMENTS???? I BET NOT MANY WOULD VOTE AGAINST THAT.

    But no, they have to turn it into a political football!

    April 13, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. erik

    More two-faced talk from a republican pig.

    "We cannot allow endless tax payer-funded bailouts for big wall street banks."

    Even though the bailouts worked, preventing untold damages to the financial system, and are being paid back more quickly than anticipated.

    Do you think these corporate shill republican pigs will support the actual reform necessary to prevent the need for more bailouts in the future? I'm talking about limiting the size of these greedy, irresponsible financial institutions and providing LOTS of oversight and regulation. Of course they won't go for that...

    April 13, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    McConnell is right.

    And while it shouldn't be in this bill, taxpayers need to be protected from government bailing out individuals who do something stupid, like taking on mortgages they know they can't afford in the long run.

    April 13, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. LIP

    Good old Chris..What he is proposing to Congress....isn't this something similar to what George W. Bush requested way back in 2001, again a few years later and again a few more years later and was rejected each time by Barney and Chris?

    April 13, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Jilli

    Why have the republicans wasted so much time standing on the sidelines complaining? They could have been active participants in the formulation of the bill, but they chose to abstain.

    Another thought, I'm not so sure I'd take too much advice from republicans on financial reform, their party is the party of deregulation – which actually landed us in this mess.

    McConnell, be a constructive part of the process or get out of the way.

    April 13, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. frank in valparaiso indiana

    McConnell is an idiot. We need to stop the abuses on Wall Street. We bit the bullet last time and averted a world wide catastrophe. These clowns play not only on the US market but on a global scale. We have another crash like we did in 1929, we can't get out of it. Especially if we have ignorant clowns like the GOP in the Fed. Greenspan lost 17 TRILLION on Wall Street in his reign. That is a hunk of change. And that was the 30% of the time he was wrong?

    April 13, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. patsy

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Let the big banks help finance any future bailouts. It's time Congress stops protecting the hand that feeds it.

    April 13, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. rick

    The GOP is in the pockets of big business and banks.

    April 13, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Michele

    More posturing from the GOP. I'd love to see them adopt this provision, and then, in 10 years, if by some miracle the GOP is back in power, another near-depression. Then the GOP will have hog-tied itself from saving the country. Go for it Mitch...complete the ruination of the US that was begun by your lack of regulations over the financial companies who give you so much money. Keep up this obstinate "NO!" crap, and the GOP will soon find themselves with even fewer seats. As Palin is so fond of screaming, "You work for us, not the banks!"

    April 13, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Roger in StL

    You mean the Republican leaders are asking thier party to issue a blanket NO vote for a bill? How very unusual and unexpected, indeed.

    Good thing the Republicans have their own plan in place to offer as a workable solution....oh, wait......

    April 13, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    What a flip flop, this certainly was not the GOP stance back in 2008. Again there is no difference in the democrat approch than what the GOP has done for the last four decades. The taxpayer is left holding the bills for the fraud of corportate greed.
    The working minority of American taxpayers shoulder the burden for the failures of the wealthy and this includes our elected officials from both parties.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    April 13, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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