Washington (CNN) – A Republican who sits on the Senate Banking Committee defended his party’s lockstep opposition to the current version of the financial regulatory reform bill but said he thinks the GOP and Democrats can ultimately reach agreement on how best to oversee Wall Street.
All 41 Senate Republicans voted against a motion Monday that would have started debate on the financial regulatory reform bill. Speaking on CNN’s John King, USA soon after the vote, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, said he hoped his party’s unanimous opposition would facilitate more bipartisan negotiations.
DeMint called the current version of the legislation “another massive bill that doesn’t keep the promises on the label.” And the South Carolina Republican said the current bill doesn’t adequately address the causes of the recent financial crisis but it does, in his view, expand regulation to parts of the financial industry that did not have a role in nearly bringing the economy to a halt in late 2008 and early 2009.
Related: Senate delayed on Wall Street reform
“So, we’re hoping the vote tonight will at least get the Democrats to work with us on fixing the problems and making sure that we just don’t have another overreach of government power without really fixing the problem,” DeMint told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
DeMint added that one of the major points of disagreement has to do with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how to fix the subprime mortgage market.
“[Democrats] are not allowing us to address it. So, hopefully if we can shake them up like we did tonight and help them see they’re not going to ram this down our throat, then we can get a real bill that the American people can feel good about.”
On the issue of immigration reform, DeMint said the federal government needs to secure the borders before moving forward with any overhaul of immigration policy.
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DeMint also accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who is up for re-election this year, of “playing politics with immigration to try to show the people back home he wants to do something about it.”
In a note of support for the senior senator from South Carolina, DeMint said fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has taken “an important stand” in withdrawing his support for a climate change bill since Reid and Democrats began to signal their desire to prioritize passing an immigration bill this year.
And DeMint told King that he was not concerned about alienating Latino voters in November’s mid-terms.
“Every immigrant that I’ve talked to - that’s come here the legal way - wants us to continue to work on border security and a workable worker I.D. system. All of us as Republicans want to move ahead with those kind of reforms.”
What did you expect?
South Carolina Republicans...what a joke. The American people do not need lectures from these immoral losers. Get the job done, or get out of the way so that people in congress who want to the right thing can get to work.
DeMint, you and your cabal have finally made the point to the American people that you are the party of Wall Street.
When it comes down to it, the GOP's constituency is the top 5%. The rest of their rhetoric (i.e. abortion, God, guns, limited/small govt, etc) is just a smokescreen. They could care less about the American people.
DeMint's famous words for Obama was that blocking HCR would "break him" and would be Obama's "Waterloo." Well, DeMint was wrong then and he's wrong now.
As a liberal Democrat, I'm surprised to find myself agreeing with DeMint for at least the first 2/3rds of this article. This bill does need to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were a massive part of the problem and need to be brought under control. Unfortunately, Dodd is pretty deep in their pockets, so doing anything that they wouldn't like is not very likely.
As for the immigration bit, DeMint needs to get real. Unless we declare martial law, our borders are not going to just get secured. We need to address a solution to the problem that changes our immigration system rather than trying to force a square peg into a round hole and make the current broken system work.
It is simple, enough with half backed ideas by people who have never been in main-street, never started a business, never did financing and have been in politics all their life! Good they stopped the nonsense!
Obama is trying to destroy the country. The Dems (and the CNN crowd) in general are not smart enough to understand that and will go along just to take their skim off the top of whatever Barry does. Our only lines of defense until November are these blocking actions.
DeMint is a possible republican presidential contender in 2012. DeMint makes Palin look like a Rhodes scholar. He makes Huckabee look like an atheist. He makes Rush Limbaugh look like a lefty. Plus, he is flat out goofy.
A Citizen of the State of South Carolina.
It seems like DeMint want to protect his special interest people on Wall Street just like every other rethugican.
To propose financial reform without addressing the sub-prime mortgage debacle is irresponsible. What Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did played an enormous part in the economic decline, but then to do something about that, the Democrats would have to admit their complicity in the financial meltdown. It's so much easier to say "It's Bush's fault".
These people sounds like spoiled brats... their way or no way.
Thank you again, Massachusetts voters. It's starting to become clear to Harry Reid and Barack Obama that they have to consider now something besides their own liberal agenda and special interests. They need to work with the Republicans and the tens of millions of Americans that sent them to Washington if they want to get anything else done. Bravo.
So, the republicans want to cut taxes for Goldman-Sachs and hope that teaches them a lesson??????
I don't get it.
To all Republicans currently in office:
Tender your resignation now. You are not helping this country or its citizens. If I had the ability I would give you a horrible performance review and fire you on the spot.
I am a registered Republican and I am getting tired of all the obstruction and immaturity. This is getting beyond childish and is really petty. What good did you accomplish? Nothing!!!!! Bush spent a whole year avoiding saying the word recession when all the signs were there.
You lost my vote. Come November every Dem on the ballot will get my vote. At least they are willing to do some work that is in a positive direction.
There is NO reason for you to vote to stop a debate. After all of the money the citizens of this country and the world has lost in the recession (or depression) this is all you can come up with. PLEASE do us all a favor and step down.
DeMint is just another republican trying to support Wall Street. Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac were more the result of the financial collapse rather than the cause. Republicans are trying to shift blame away from mortgage and investment bankers.
Also the problem is not that Democrats refuse to work with republicans. The Democrats have bent over backwards trying to come up with a bipartisan bill but the republicans will not even come to the table. The republican idea of bipartisanship is we are the minority party but we should have a major role in crafting legislation. The truth is: the republicans had their chance and they blew it. Also, the republican did not offer Democratic input on most of the legislation they rammed down everybody's throat.
Keep it up, refuseniks. The American people are waking up and they are finally catching on to your game. You are setting yourselves up for another defeat at the polls.
DeMint is just another republican idiot!
I do not understand the Republicans are so against financial reform that will stop the banks from bleeding the public. They should be ashamed all this happened under there watch and have the odosity to stop the reform from passing. They were bailed out by the people of this country and they owe all of us who lost money in our future investments. The Republicans do not understand people are hurting because they lost a lot of money and especially the elderly who are in there retirement ages to enjoy the rest of there lives. I think the Republicans should have a heart and think for the people of this country and not think about being an obstacle. This reform is a long time coming and we need our financial institutions accountable for there miscalculations/ self enriching and simply robbing the public. good Bless our country.
"We want nothing to happen, and we're gonna make nothing happen. Cuz nothing makes us free"
Palin's and McCain's, Tea partiers, (although, I think they are educated people who believe lies and like to Party with their S.S. Checks! NO BIG GOVERNMENT means NO ENTITLEMENTS!
We BETTER save S.S. and Medicare are we and our children and our grandchildren are screwed should we get sick. Companies don't want to hire/keep sick people. Thanks to the Insurance Giants!
Calling all DEMs, it is time to get these gop liars out of the SENATE & the HOUSE. The finance bill has been in committee since Nov. This committee consists of members from both parties (DEMs & GOP) and both parties have participated in discussions, negotiations, admendments, etc . Therefore, this is not a bill that is being rammed down American citizens throat. Since Fannie & Freddie are now the federal government, the committee agreed to deal with them in a separate bill. Please America don't be fooled again! The gop is not concerned about any of us. Their only concerns are centered around power, greed, and more greed. LET'S VOTE 'EM OUT!
The Party of NO wants to keep stonewalling any change to the financial system that keep them getting richer at our expense.
I say it's time to say NO to the Party of NO and vote out any and all republicans. The thieves can retire on the money they stole from our 401K accounts but, no more!
Enough of the back room Wall Street deals. Enough of the smoke and mirror obstruction. I'm done listening, GOPers.
Thanks, Dems, for working together to get our country moving forward again. I can't even begin to imagine where our country would be had all of you NOT stood up and made the difficult choices our country so desperately neede to be made.
Kudos's to each and everyone of you!
Didn't some Republicans help write this legislation. Man talk about senility.
DeMint is not a spokesperson who represents normal Americans. He is a fringe candidate, a fringe citizen, if you will, who does not see past his own needs.
Highlighting this contrarian is to rub the nose of Republicans in the mire.
Pelosi wrote a bill to change a health care system she didn't understand and it was passed and signed into law by democrats who didn't understand it nor bothered to read it.
Now Pelosi / Reid and Obama want to do the same with the financial system, of which they understand even less.
Open debate on the Senate Floor is not an overreach of government power. The vote tonight was not on the bill but on whether the bill would be debated and amended on the public record. The GOP chose to debate and amend behind closed doors.