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. Jean

    NOONE wanted to bail out Wall Street but it was necessary.
    It should be allowed but with stringent rules of NO BONUS, GOLDEN PARACHUTES ETC.

    Why do Republicans have to have absolutes? Can not they think on their feet??????

    It is time to get rid of a bunch of these guys NOW. Don't forget to vote:)

    April 13, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Andy in Atlanta

    Hmmmm .... I see a lot of comments denouncing repubs as the "party of 'no'" and some just downright hateful. When I read this article it struck me that McConnell was not saying the bill was bad, he was saying that it needed to provide stronger safeguards against government bailouts in the future. In other words, tell Wallstreet that there are no more free rides. Did I miss something? Why is this a bad thing? We have a golden opportunity to fix a problem but it looks like we are wasting it. Just like the healthcare reform bill didn't really reform healthcare (it merely increased access while offering little in terms of a solution to the real problem: cost) we are about to have another bill of half-measures. Yes, let's protect consummers from those bad ole banks, but let's actually doing someting helpful for the economy for the sake of our future. Just a thought. For those of you slinging mud on both the left and right, grow up. You aren't helping.

    April 13, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Sherry in Kentucky

    Let me put my surprised face on.

    April 13, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Grog in Ohio

    Wait... McConnell says American taxpayers should never again be called upon to bailout Wall Street and in the same breath declares that the GOP should vote AGAINST a reform bill???? What the...????

    How is Mr. McConnell going to carry out his declaration without a law that regulates Wall Street? Is there no logic AT ALL in American conservative politics? How is voting "NO" on EVERYTHING going to address McConnell's declaration?

    April 13, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. William

    What, is there a string in this guy's back that one pull's for it to say "no"? Get a new trick guys, no all the time is very negative.

    "I'm Talking Tina, and you better not pass that reform legislation"

    April 13, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. A Winning Game Plan

    Oh yes GOP, please, please, please vote IN FAVOR of WALL ST.

    Attempt to deny the President another victory aimed at the American People that you Republican politicians claim that you listen to and are looking out for.


    A Treaty Reducing Nuclear Weapons
    Healthcare Insurance Reform
    The DJIA going up 35+ %; economic collapes averted
    Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court

    Republicans need to find something to rally around. Why not favor a bunch of bookies and their exorbitant, unearned, multimillion dollar compensation packages.

    Put that right up there with a fillibuster of the next woman [liberal or not] that President Obama selects for the SCOTUS.

    Mitch, Boehner, Kantor, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reily, Beck, Coultier, Palin, Bachmann, Ingram are all Geniuses.

    April 13, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Jay T.

    Hi, I am a Republican and I learned nothing from the financial meltdown a year ago.

    April 13, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Parker

    I for one am shocked. Republicans saying No to a Democratic sponsored bill. How unusual. Republicans, gotta love 'em. Apparently doing nothing is better than doing something. I guess if I was in the pocket of big business, like all repbulicans, I'd vote no on Wall Street controls also. Once again the GOP is protecting us from the possibility of some type of reform on Wall Street. My gosh just look at how well the country has done with Wall Street unregulated. Why in the world would anyone want to rock the boat? The "Party of NO" gives it's totally predictable response: NO! As I said, I'm am shocked.

    April 13, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. tmichael

    Well if Chris Dodd is writing it, we KNOW it's tough on Wall Street!! Right?!

    April 13, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. windrider

    The only way such a bill could category bar any possibility of a bailout is to begin breaking up all financial firms that are "too big to fail" NOW, so that bailouts of the magnitude we had to provide in this Great Recession will never again be necessary. I'm sure the Republicans will be all too happy to have the govt break up Citigroup, Chase, Goldman Sachs and the other mega-corporations with so many invasive tentacles in the economy that they can bring down the whole house of cards with another failure. GIven the fact that these firms are, even now, hiding debt by moving it off the account sheets before each quarterly report for the last five quarters, they're headed for another collapse for the same reason as before...greed and excessive risk taking, coupled with lack of regulation and oversight (thanks, GOP).

    So if McConnell et al will sign up for breaking up these mega-banks NOW, then I think it's reasonable to include a provision in the bill that the government won't bail them out. Otherwise, we're almost guaranteed another repeat of the latest Depression but the government will have no means of protecting the rest of the economy when these uberInstitutes collapse.

    April 13, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    Vote NO baby!

    April 13, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Glass Stengal

    A true free market capitalist supports the bankruptcy & liquidation of any firm that isn't smart enough or strong enough to survive.

    I'd have respected these Republicans if they had screamed as loudly for allowing these firms to fail ... something aligned with a TRUE MARKET ECONOMY ... as they did when telling LIES about DEATH PANELS and pulling the plug on Granny.

    Unfortunately, that would have meant that too many of their FAT CAT friends would have had to give up their robber barron lifestyles. Republicans want welfare when it helps out their upper income constituents but opposes any help when it is targeted at the HARD WORKING American.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. CMG

    A Republican instructing others to vote "no." What a shocking revelation!!!!!. It is time to clean out Washington. McConnell should be first on the list.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    If everything else in this new bill fails, then what is the stop-gap? Does McConnell know what would have happened if the government let BOA and Citibank fail in September 2008? The FDIC does not have the funds to insure the depositors at either of these two banks. It was never prepared for their failure. Their depositors would have been left high and dry. The amount of money taken out of the economy would have led to a catastrophy. The government lent them TARP money and instead of the Greatest Depression, they are paying it back with substantial interest.

    I can only assume McConnell is a bonehead who does not know the first thing about economics or business.

    April 13, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Bobby

    So, am I to believe by all these negative posts that Democrats do not want such language in the bill and are OK with bailing the Wall Street Banks out when they tank again? Or, did you not even read the article and when you saw who it was that wanted the language added you turned red faced? Brainwashed by politics.

    April 13, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Brennan, Seattle WA

    Score political points to tie the hands of future generations. Any respectable economist says that saving the banks saved the economy and now this idiot wants to argue that we should never do it again. I guess next time that we run into a major crisis we should just let the thing colapse. How do these people get elected?

    April 13, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Steve in o-town

    Nice try. Every knows the big bank bailout was a Republican-sponsored bill. The problem isn't the bailout, it's that we needed one. Outlawing bailouts just means we'll write a new law to allow them later if we need them. You can't allow the economy to collapse because you have conservative principles, and Republicans believe that and that's why we had the first bailout. The problem is the size of the bank. Fix that, and you won't need bailouts.

    April 13, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Sally

    Of course, McConnell is going to find something in the bill and insist on something completely irresponsible to be included. We don't know what lies down the road. I firmly believe that the bailout was necessary to stop a horrible depression! The new reforms will hopefully create a safer environment for the stability of our country. Not only that, the TARP funds are being repaid, plus interest. This is good, not bad! What he should be concerned about is curtailing the gambling that went on in Wall Street that led up to the crash rather than making rash decisions which will hamstring Congress in the future.

    April 13, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Yas

    NO SURPRISE HERE....After all, McConnell is the one who said that the GOP was going to vote NO or DELAY everything the Dem.'s and Obama Administration put forward even before Obama took office....

    Same old GOP... Politics before what is best for Country. What did these whiny, losers do when they where in power (besides tax breaks for rich, start a war with the "wrong" country and line their own pockets with lobbyist/corporate dollars). Just Plain SICK and PATHETIC.....

    WAKE UP PEOPLE vote out these GOP obstructionist...get someone in that at least attempts to DO THEIR JOB for the betterment of country and us, the people who employ them.

    April 13, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Ellie

    Republicans LOVE to spin the facts. They don't CARE about your unemployment benefits, your healthcare, your jobs, your mortgages or regulating WALL STREET!!!

    All Republicans care about is making the RICH RICHER and THE POOR POORER. Bottom line.

    Americans better WAKE UP. If you are buying all these TEA BAGGING HOGWASH, then get ready to another 8 years of BUSH'S FAILED POLICIES AND ANOTHER DEPRESSION!!!






    April 13, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Wisconsonite - Be Informed; Not Just Opinionated!

    Or stated another way:

    The Senate's top Republican called on Republicans to stand in the way of helping America, to obstruct ever piece of legislation they possibly can (even if they KNOW the legislation will help America) and to just generally shoot themselves in the foot AGAIN, all in the name of partisanship! Same old, same old.

    April 13, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. IndyVoter

    Ok Republicans. So where is YOUR comprehensive alternative Wall Street Reform Bill? Or do you even have a plan other than just, "NO to whatever Democrats try to do"?

    April 13, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. David

    Does the GOP hear themselves? They were the creators to bailout Wall Street, Obama just followed thru.

    April 13, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. kenneth boudreau

    This is the same party that was in power when everything went in the crapper . Where the hell were you then oh I forgot about the large donations to your re-elections.

    April 13, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. John

    Republican mantra – No, no, no on everything. Leave these wall street clowns unregulated, like McConnell wants to, and you'll just keep getting more and bigger recessions while the fat cats put our economy down the tubes. Is this what America needs? But I should know by now – rich get richer, everyone else gets poorer is what Republicans have been giving us ever since the 1970s.

    April 13, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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