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

GOP Senators united in opposition to current financial reform bill


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/16/art.getty.mcconnell.jpg caption="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. Mark

    Oh, I am so surprised by the Republicans opposing the Democrats. Hey Republicans, when are you going to do something positive for this country?

    April 16, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Lorenzo Williams

    I am a little disappointed that this is news ... particularly since we have read Frank Luntz's leaked memo in February. They are walking in lockstep to his recommendations.

    April 16, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Gates9

    Here we go. Corporatism litmus test for Dems and GOP alike...

    April 16, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Michael

    He needs to vote to reform Wall Street and that turkey neck.

    April 16, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Chandler

    McConnell, the GOP Senate leader, was recently scolded in his hometown paper for being too chummy with Big Banks, and for being in their pockets. The GOP is against this because it would restrict their Wall Street buddies from banking on the American tax payer. His actions and his words are COMPLETELY opposite.

    April 16, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" holy war can send 'em to the tomb

    Yeah, and the turtle would have let the financial sector "fail" and meltdown and we would hav 25% unemployment, then he would have pulled his turtle head back into his shell.

    At least with President Obama's plan all the banks pay for the "too big to fail" bank bailout, not the taxpayer.

    April 16, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Love that pic. It's like what you'd expect to see if you woke up to find Beaker looming over your bed, high on crystal meth and getting ready to slap you awake so you can take him to buy more. Except here it's not crystal meth, it's power, and it's not slapping, it's lying. Something like that.

    April 16, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. David

    The only entity more corrupt than Wall Street is the Republican Party. The Republicans are trying to protect one of their own...

    April 16, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. annie s

    The party of no is at it again. Even though one of them co-wrote the bill, they are united against it. What a joke these people are!

    April 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Wmscot

    Since Sen Mitchell and the GOP do not want govermental intervention in reigning in the "evil doers" in the banking sysytem who do the GOP want to assume the role ? Let them go back to self policing them selves !
    What a shill for the banking industry ! Playing off the anti government sentiment is so political and with out any concrete answers from the GOP how to fix it we have to rely on the government !

    April 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Stop Right Wing lies

    McConnel wants to stop reform because he's already gone out to beg for campain contributions from hedge funds. Right Wing Conservatism is a disease.

    April 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. 8 Years of the Bush Error = Recession and Record Unemployment for ? Years.

    The party of NO saying NO to a plan from "that one"?

    Still, CNN pretends this is news.

    April 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. OLivia

    It is just a mere posture of the GOP. THe party of NO. They really do not believe a reform should be pass. By accusing without logic that the bill will allow more bailouts to banks the GOP is trying to kill the bill. They argue the bill has a "too big to fail" approach in similar way as the argue the HC bill had "death pannels" for seniors when in fact the bill allows for fast intervention and break down of insititutions before they cause more pain and taxpayers money - so the GOP strategy is pure smoke and mirrors. They shoudl be called LIARS. They would prefer to leave the finantial sector as less regulated as possible than to put the minimum set of rules, codes and regulations that prevent a finacial meltdown. The GOP is in the banks' pocket and only LIES and SMOKES prevent the people to see that the GOP is anti-main-street and pro-banks.

    April 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. payback

    .....The Turtle...is at It again.....It goes to show you, he's for BIG BUSINESS. And not for the WORKING FOLK.....How much, did he get to sell his soul. I guess, more than sarah(silly)palin. You don't have to be a rocket scientist. To know it's all about the money.

    April 16, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    CNN you've become to news what MTV is to music videos.

    Here we have yet ANOTHER instance in which two completely opposite, mutually exclusive statements are made, yet you do nothing to separate the facts from the talking points.

    So which is it? Will "the American tax payer continue to subsidize this 'too big to fail' policy"? Or has this bill "been written specifically to end any notion of any kind of a bailout by the American taxpayer again"?


    April 16, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Recreator

    Is this a surprise? What else did you expect from the party of no: No to whatever is proposed by the Democrates and no way will be work for progress.

    April 16, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Marty, FL

    McConnell's hometown paper (Lexington Herald-Leader) even called out his disingenuous rhetoric and lies regarding finance reform. Americans should say, "Shame on you!" but these Republicans siding with Wall Street bankers (documented) have become absolutely shameless.

    Dare the corporatist GOP to filibuster much-needed finance reform that protects taxpayers, and let the American people see these Republicans put Wall Street greed ahead of Main Street interests.

    And then see you in November! 🙂

    April 16, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. sameolebluedog

    No way Corker or Shelby will vote for it....too many teabaggers in their districts....Judd Gregg you might get, or Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or maybe even Scott Brown. Seems like the teabaggers would be foaming at the mouth to put a leash on large banks...oh yeah, the only bank around during the Revolution was the Bank of England.

    April 16, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. ken from mo

    Does anybody remember that wall street holds all of our retirement
    money and if they want to take risk they ought to bail themselves out which it makes sense to have them pay into a fund so the taxpayers
    will not have to help them if they ever need it because if they all when down what would happen to the life savings of billions of people
    I hope the gop remembers that.

    April 16, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. soldierusa

    Not suprising since the GOP want to keep American in the dark and continue draining this country dry for the benefit.

    April 16, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Tony

    is there anything the Republicans stand for and vote for?

    What exactly are they doing for the American people in Washington?

    Where they sent to Washington to get lobbied, no bribed?

    Enough is enough.

    April 16, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Ben in Texas

    Maybe it's just because it's Friday, but I find myself wanting to rip the lips off this old turtle, Mitch the Twitch.

    April 16, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. mantysman

    The republicans don't want to hobble their fat cat big bank buddies....
    .....or am I missing something here?

    April 16, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Pam Eugene,OR

    Of course they are united in saying NO. They always are!

    April 16, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Robert

    Its great to see a party thats so united- sad to see its against the american people. Had the republican used the unity to cook up some real ideas- they might actually get some real support, rather then praying on the fears of the american public.

    April 16, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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