April 16th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
4 years ago

GOP Senators united in opposition to current financial reform bill

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Sen. Mitch McConnell and 40 other GOP Senators sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid detailing their opposition to the current financial reform bill.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and 40 other GOP Senators sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid detailing their opposition to the current financial reform bill.

Washington (CNN) - As Democrats prepare to bring the contentious issue of financial reform to the Senate floor next week, Republicans say they have enough votes to block the proposed financial reform bill unless changes are made.

Senate Republicans say all 41 GOP members will vote against a parliamentary procedure to allow the current bill to proceed.

"If (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid tries to bring this bill to the floor next week, I will vote against that. I want to force negotiations to continue," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key moderate, told CNN. "There were serious negotiations going on. The only way I can force people back to the table is to vote against this motion to proceed."

Democrats say they will still attempt to move forward with the bill.

"If Republicans want to vote against even allowing a reform bill to go the floor they are more than willing to do so," Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told CNN.

In a letter Friday to Reid, the Republicans said they are united in opposition and added "We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to continue to subsidize this 'too big to fail' policy. We must ensure that Wall Street no longer believes or relies on Main Street to bail them out. Inaction is not an option. However, it is imperative that what we do does not worsen the current economic climate or codify the circumstances that led to the last financial crisis."

Democrats say they are prepared to start debate but would need at least one GOP Senator to vote with them if Republicans filibuster.

"At this point, I say to my colleagues, bring me your ideas, let's work on this together, let's debate the bill, and pass strong Wall Street reform to protect our country from the kinds of abuses that lost so many their jobs, their homes, and their life savings. But let's not engage in nonsense," Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd said in reaction to the Republicans' letter.

Senate Democratic leaders and administration officials are working hard to try to persuade several Republicans, including Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), to break ranks and vote with them.

Most of the week Democrats have been strongly rebutting a charge by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that the current proposal would actually ease the way for companies to get a government bailout.

"This bill has been written specifically to end any notion of any kind of a bailout by the American taxpayer again," Dodd said Thursday. "Our bill stops bailouts by imposing...tough new requirements on Wall Street firms. Being too big and too interconnected will cost these firms dearly. And should that not be enough, our legislation, regulators can use the new powers in our legislation to break these firm up before they can take down the economy of our country."

Meanwhile, on Friday the President Barack Obama pushed for action on the issue in an event with a group of his economic advisers and in an e-mail sent to his supporters.

Specifically he said there needs to be strong reform and more accountability regarding the trading of the complex risky investments called derivatives which were one of the major causes of the economic meltdown.

"I hope we can pass a bipartisan bill, but bipartisanship cannot mean simply allowing lobbyist driven loopholes that put American taxapyers at risk. That would not be real reform," he told the meeting of his advisers.

Asked by a reporter whether he would veto legislation if the derivatives reforms are weakened, Obama said "I want to see what emerges. But I will veto legislation that does not bring the derivatives market under control in some sort of regulatory framework that assures that we don't have the same kind of crisis that we have seen in the past."

- CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.


Filed under: GOP • Harry Reid • Wall Street
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. andrew

    shocking!!! The GOP is united against something Obama put out?

    April 16, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Aviate

    When Morgan Stanley (or Goldman Sachs, or any other Wall St firm) talks, the GOP listens (and rolls over)...

    McConnell holds secret meetings with 25 Wall St. lobbyists and tells big bankers to "stand up" to "those punk staffers" in Congress, and we're supposed to believe he's fighting for average Americans on this one?

    Wake up America, McConnell and the GOP think you are that stupid, and they will continue playing you for chumps and laughing all the way to the bank as long as you let them.

    April 16, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. SC-Pub "no" more

    CNN: "GOP Senators united in opposition to current financial reform bill"

    I am absolutely shocked that the Re-pubs would be against something. These "cooperatists" will never vote for Wall Street reform; they get too many pockets lined by them. They as big a frauds as Wall Street!

    April 16, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Griff

    And the GOP being united against Obama is news how?

    April 16, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Charlie from the North

    No way, Really? The GOP is against a good idea. Huh go figure.

    Are they for anything?

    April 16, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. lasparky11

    Same old garbage NO NO NO, without any constructive ideas or alternatives.

    April 16, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Sandy

    And why would this surprise anyone?

    April 16, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Julie

    Again, "no"? What the heck is wrong with these people? Don't they think about compromise for the "common good"? They're acting like spoiled, bratty kids, "No, no, no..." Next will be temper tantrums and if Newtie comes back they'll try and shut down the government again. Grow up, Republicans! This is America, not some carnival show you're working for.

    April 16, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Kevin Schuder

    McConnell on this issue is so clearly pretending to be on the tax-payers side, while he helps his Wall Street buddies avoid any serious regulation. This is shameless and cynical, and I know a few Republicans of conscience will come out for what is a good piece of legislation by Dodd. There is an excellent article in the Times by Krugman today called "The Fire Next Time." I suggest everyone read it.

    April 16, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Isn't this the same bill that the Republicans were so much in favor of several months ago? Wot Hoppen. Man?

    April 16, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Bill

    GOP: Lying again.

    That should be the title! If CNN would put some "investigation" into this story they might report that Ms. McConnell has met with every investment or banking Tom, Dick and Cheney to snow the populace into believing that "not regulating the financial industry is a good thing". The GOP (as well as the Democrats) are in bed with the industry, duh! Glass-Steagall, anyone?? Honestly CNN, it's not even worth visiting your site any more. It's like FOX snooze lite!

    April 16, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Patriot

    Imagine that, conservatives saying no.

    As an independent, I continue to find it harder and harder to take the conservative movement seriously. They are intellectually bankrupt.

    April 16, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. catmomtx

    Oh, who is surprised? Why do Republicans het America?

    April 16, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Jim

    Ok! hold him accountable for his no's: I guess this was wrtten before Goldmans story broke. By how are they going to get out of this one? How will fox spin it? How will Cudlow spin it? I will be watching the Spin. Some say it is timely well it is use it Mr. President.....

    April 16, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. If We Can Defeat Him On Healthcare It Will Be His Waterloo

    Newer Version:
    If We Can Defeat Him On Wall Street Reform It Will Be His Pearl Harbor.

    April 16, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Bunch of dummies - led by the # 1 dummy S.P.

    What a surprise! The GOP is unAmerican. They don't want to and have not participated in anything that will help the American people, especially the working and middle class. Their whole agenda is too obstruct and too try to damage The current administration. This will all come back to haunt them.

    April 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Jim

    Fighting these reforms just to fight them is ridiculous. Everyone knows they are just trying to protect Wall Street. If the Republicans want to filibuster this, let them filibuster it. Let them shut the government down in an effort to protect the big banks.

    April 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Scottyrw

    Leave it to the Republican Party to say "NO" again to regulating big business/ big money! They haven't change their tune in 60 years. They have always supported big money/ big business and ignored the average workers and citizens of America. All the smoke and mirrors the Republican Party puts out about wanting to help average people is BS .... they only care about special interests, CEOs and big money.
    Rember this in the November election:
    Democrats Care!
    Republicans Don't!

    April 16, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Gil

    Is there anything that Mitch Mcconnel supports? These right wing loonies need to get in touch with the needs of the American people and stop supporting banks, lending institutions, Wall Street and the rich. The party of NO is becoming UN-American!

    April 16, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Felly

    These Repubs are cowards. Why didn't they say no to Bush when he was recking our economy.

    April 16, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Adalbert

    So what is new? They are united in opposition to everything.

    April 16, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Thank you President Obama

    Thank you for everything that you are doing and attempting to do to try to repair the mess that the Bush administration left us. I applaud you for your diligence, intelligence and patience for dealing with the obstructionists and nosayers. Keep strong and God Bless you and your beautiful family always Mr. President.

    April 16, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Whats new about this??? These republican senators are united against everything!!

    April 16, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Most GOPmembers have made visits to their wall street buddies to solicit more funds for their re-elections.

    GOP supports the de-regulation that go ALL of us in this mess and leaves us ALL vulnerable to losing everything in 401Ks.

    GOP is supported by the big banks – almost totally. They love each other and the MONEY they can stuff in their own pockets.

    April 16, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. AllenP

    Tea Partiers might have called themselves Republicans ten years ago, but after eight years watching these clowns run things and now watching the way Republicans do the bidding of Wall Street, those days are no more.

    Tea Partiers beware the claims of Republicans. They will say what you want to hear, but when it comes down to governing, they'll take every penny you have and laugh all the way to bank. They did it from 2000 to 2006 and they'll surely do it again.

    Repent Tea Partiers. Repent.

    It's time for a new party!

    April 16, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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