April 13th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
8 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. Jim

    The Republican party should be outlawed and deemed harmful to working class America. What else would you expect to hear from scrotum throat McConnell, a yes?

    Please sir for the good of the nation take your Wall Street buddies and the rest of your party and leave our country!

    April 13, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Walter

    Apparently, Senator McConnell would prefer a world in which the entire banking sector could come crashing down around our ears and the government would be powerless to do anything to prevent it.

    A world like, for instance, the United States in 1929.

    April 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. a Liberal says no but not for the same reason

    If he was really for the people he would have used the argument that banks will still be allowed to conceal risky investment strategies that include credit default swaps and repo 105, the bill does not stop banks from investing in their own interests using account holders' deposits, and the bill doesn't address the conflict of interest between rating agencies (SEC for example) and the Wall Street firms that pay them

    April 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Average American

    Why do you hate us freedom loving, hard working, patriotic Americans, Mr. McConnell?

    April 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. joe

    take the easy way out again with anotther NO VOTE instead of doing your job and working on an alternative. Big suprise

    April 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. steve

    Are you getting sick of everything Itch and Bonehead say? The GOP is right in there again to help the average citizen..NOT!

    Perhaps if the there was true regulation of laws already in place there would be less need to reform.

    Why wait, enforce anti-trust laws and start breaking up anything said to be too big to fail right away.

    Increase reserves 2x.

    Really enforce Sarbanes Oxley in the financial system.

    Make insurance companies and hedge funds subject to all existing financial system laws.

    Make rating firms independent and funded by a bank/brokerage/insurance fee managed by Fed.

    Require SEC to approve rating firms public risk assessment/rating for every security/loan type/policy type before it can be sold.

    April 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Brian

    McConnell and his buffoonic gaggle of malcontents will not retake the Senate or the House in the fall mid-terms, no matter how many times they say no.

    April 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Steve Stevens

    Going after Wall Street isn't the most important thing. Fannie and Freddie lost 220 billion over the last 2 years. Gone. The government needs to fix its own problems and stop blaming others.

    April 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. ATL Guy

    This is going to blow up in their faces big time. People are going to say why don't you move to strenghten the bill rather than vote no and leave the system as is. It just sounds idiotic and infantile to me. Senators have the option to introduce amendments to alter bills. He and the Republicans have that option. If you have stronger language, then introduce it as an amendment. If not then you're showing your underwear to the world.

    April 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

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

    That statement alone is indicative of the rest of his reasoning: a total fabrication and exxageration.

    The proposed bill would NOT allow for ENDLESS tax payer-funded bailouts. That statement in and of itself is ludicrous! However in the event, should the regulatory steps that will hopefully be put in place fail, of ANOTHER cataclysmic collapse, I believe the government should have the option open to intervene.

    McConnell conveniently neglects to state the fact that the reason why the government had intervene was due to the GOP's neglect of watching who was minding the store. Additionally, I personally do not feel as if we bailed out Wall St. so much as we saved what was left of millions of Americans' 401k, and prevented the country into spinning the rest of the world into a GLOBAL DEPRESSION.

    April 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. jdmintexas

    The Repugnuts are a joke. Sadly, the joke is on us.

    April 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Debbie from AZ

    This is no surprise is it? The GOP has done nothing to help this country since President Obama was elected. They well deserve the Party of No title, and they are proud of that. The fact that the GOP thinks that they will take back control in November. If this happens, it will be because Americans are not paying attention. I know that we all seem to have short memories, but please, let's not forget who got us into this mess and who is trying to get us out.

    April 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. James

    These ding-dongs would prefer the Dow be stuck at 6,500, with no lending at all? It stinks we had to bail them out but thanks to GWB, nobody was regulating them.

    April 13, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Independent

    The GOP siding with Wall Street greed...who woulda thunk it?

    Are you even paying attention tea partiers? This is what Republican "leaders" have become. How sad.

    April 13, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Tim, Wilmington, DE

    Good Lord, these idiot Republicans will do ANYTHING to oppose this administration. No matter how good the bill is, no matter how well it benefits the people of the United States, if it's sponsored by the other side, McConnell will be there to attack and denounce it. He's a disgusting, worthless shell of a human being.

    April 13, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Glennis

    My first question is ...we need another 1300 page bill for this? Second question is why we need another agency set up for it. Why not strengthen the laws we already have; reinstate Glass-Steagall and be done with it. One of the reasons this country is so screwed up now is the proliferation of laws and regulations that are in too many cases too complex and are in conflict with other laws already on the books. Congress always seems to act before thinking anything through to a logical conclusion.

    April 13, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Larry

    McConnell is on C.R.E.W.'s list of most corrupt politicians in Washington.

    His top campaign contributors are Securities and Investment firms.

    Of course he doesn't want Wall Street reform.

    This guy has been on the take from special interests since he's been in office.

    April 13, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Sujesh Arukil

    I am actually quite surprised at the dealings of the GOP. Instead of always saying "NO" first, why cant they say "Here are our ideas that you might want to consider in the bill" and then discuss the pros and cons of it? Thats how a team works. Bring out your ideas GOP and not just say "NO". I am sure if president Obama states that he is gonna step down the GOP will say "NO" and then look at the agenda at hand. You have grown old, but lost the maturity!

    April 13, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. John D.

    You people are disgusting with your childish posts. The party of KNOW is right.

    April 13, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. ART

    I just cannot believe that people would listen to this decrepit moron

    April 13, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Steve

    How all of you liberals out there are speaking against what Mr. McConnell is saying is beyond me...

    You enjoy bailing out Wall Street? I thought you guys were supposed to hate everyone who didn't mooch off the government...

    April 13, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Gary

    Of course the GOP will vote no, it's taking money from their pocket. They like things just as they are.

    April 13, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    So what else is new? Have the Republicans done anything else for the last year? If they are not going to contribute and ideas why don't they just take their toys and go home? We would be better off without them....................

    April 13, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Adam

    Even as someone who tends to lean left, I have to agree with him here. If you've looked at the legislation being proposed (not just a sentence or two on CNN.com) you'd see that this bill will be adding government where it isn't needed, and lacking regulation where it is needed. Another lame bill proposed by the Dems that will be largely ineffective, but will make them look good to their base. They should have worked with more members of the GOP on this. It would have been a much stronger bill. But they won't, because they are just as opposed to bi-partisanship as the GOP.

    Third parties people, third parties.

    April 13, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Alex

    Gotta love these Johnny-come-latelies to fiscal responsibility. However, in this case, I tend to agree with him. If the banks know they have a federal safety net, they will probably just run hog wild again.

    April 13, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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