(CNN) – After a rough week in the investment industry, President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to urge Congress to stand by increased regulations of Wall Street, while Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin continued the Republican call for the Democratic-led Senate to pass a budget.
The recession was caused by Wall Street treating the "financial system like a casino," and this week’s $2 billion loss suffered by JPMorgan Chase could have cost taxpayers, Obama said.
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Congress should back reforms such as those enacted nearly two years ago "because we can't afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy," Obama said.
That law, known as Dodd Frank, passed Congress by narrow margins and is a target of Republicans on the campaign trail.
The president said the new rules require financial powerhouses to "write out a 'living will' that details how you'll be wound down if you do fail."
"So unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform," he said, then defended his position from suggestions that it is an undue restriction on the free market.
"I believe the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history; that businesses are the engine of growth; that risk-takers and innovators should be celebrated," he said. "But I also believe that at its best, the free market has never been a license to take whatever you want, however you can get it."
Meanwhile, Johnson said in the Republicans' address that Democrats in the Senate and Obama are acting irresponsibly by refusing to pass a budget.
"For his part, President Obama has done nothing to encourage the Senate to pass a budget. Just this week in the Senate, the president's budget lost by a vote of 0 to 99," Johnson said. "This is a stunning repudiation of his leadership. At a time when America requires sober financial management, President Obama's fiscal plans have been so unserious, that not a single member his own party supported them with their vote."
Spurred by Republicans, the Senate held votes on five budget proposals on Wednesday, none of which passed.
The vote appeared to some as an effort to score political points, but Johnson said Saturday, "The American people understand that we are facing enormous economic challenges. And they're looking for solutions, not political games."
He also criticized Obama for his broader economic policies and his health care law.
"Instead of concentrating on job creation, President Obama has concentrated on growing government and increasing its control over our lives," Johnson said.
The jabs will likely continue next week, when the president is to speak on the economy and GOP candidate Mitt Romney returns to the campaign trail.