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. Four and The Door

    Too Big To Fail was a bad joke to start with. They had no right to bail out AIG using taxpayer money. We need an administration that appreciates small businesses where jobs are created. The Obama administration is all about Fortune 500 and unions. That is why 10-20% of American workers are still unemployed even though the national debt has grown by trillions.

    April 16, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. QGlenn

    Surprise, Surprise...GOP is opposing an idea!

    April 16, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. carole

    Maybe the republicans all need stronger glasses so they can read better! Or maybe they just can't understand what they are reading. It seems whatever bill they saying no to and they reasons they give for it are not in the bill!! They lied about the health care bill, they lied about how taxes have gone up, and now they say this is another bailout when they know that it isn't. They are not only the party of no, but also the party of liers! I am puzzled why when they had a republican president why they didn't get all this stuff done. Now they're mad because now we have a smart president and he is willing to do this for the people. Send them packing and especially Bachmann, Mcconnel and Boehner, canter and couburn. We don't need these morons!!!

    April 16, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Clint, Wa.

    This is where AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka must have been when he got sick.

    April 16, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Josh

    McConnell, you are a greedy corporate begging idiot. When will people see through this fony person. All he want to do is lie about this bill. I am appalled that some people believe this guy.

    April 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Peter Vaguely

    What a surprise! The Republicans don't want financial reform of their Big Business cronies. The hypocrites want us to believe they are really against another "bail out" because they've done their polling and that sounds good to the general public. Phonies!

    April 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Seattle Sue

    Mitch McConnell, the man with the wax face is spreading lies again. What a JERK!

    April 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Liz

    Of course they are! because the whole flippin' lot of them are on the side of the financial institutions, and not on the side of the American people. i wonder how long it's going to take their slightly less than multimillionaire supporters to realize the only thing the republican party cares about is their money and their votes, not their lives or their health or their safety or their livelihoods. it's those loathesome Democrats who care about that!

    April 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Rani McBride

    Sure they are. Did you think they would be doint anything but? Their goal is to keep on spreading un truths about President Obama's agenda and to support Wall Street instead of Main Street. They will do this by pretending that this is a permanent bail-out. Making it out to be something its not. Trying to say it will hurt middle class Americans, which is just false. This is standing up to Wall Street and making them do something about dirivitives and hedge funds. The excesses that got us into the financial mess to begin with. Just listen to their code words. They are using all the "talking points" . It is the Media's responsibility to call them out on their lies, but they don't. They keep on perpetuating them...like there is truth to them.

    April 16, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Mark Gomes

    If ever there was a bunch of financial predators, it is these clowns. Had there been adequate regulation, we would not be in this mess right now. In bed with the banks and Wall Street, while working Americans are trying to stay afloat financially. Your free market crap is free for you, but not for those with nothing to invest. The lobby's have bought you and will sell you when they have used you.

    April 16, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Independent One

    I'm sorry I wonder about people who called themselves independents and find nothing wrong with this

    April 16, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Doug

    There's really only one Republican Senator, and his name is Frank Luntz. The 41 alleged Republican Senators will do whatever this puppet master instructs.

    April 16, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Teena

    So let's see, the party of No says No again?! What a surprise.

    They can not or will not vote for anything the democrats put forth, even if it helps the middle class.

    So, repubs, let the SPIN begin.

    April 16, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. Real American

    Does this surprise anyone? Republicans are the tools of Wall Street. The SEC actions against Goldman Sachs couldn't have come at a better time.

    April 16, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Typical GOP liar. The bill is about REFORM not about bail-outs. What a jerk.

    April 16, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. john

    Harry Reid is lying. The money for any future bailout is comming from fees on the banks. The bill specifically prohibits the taxpayer from funding future bailouts and sets up procedures for dismantling failing companies. Another reason why I am an ex republican.

    April 16, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Ken in NC

    WOW. All Republicans united to tell the same lie and spread all the fear they can so as to support Big Banks and Wall Street being able to continue their rape of the American people.

    They know no shame. I horbor no malice towards Republicans but I have no respect for politicians that are willing to knowing fight to keep Big Banks and Wall Street in the position to cause our economy to falter again. It would be a day to celebrate upon waking to find they have magically been transferred to the moon along with their Lobbyist and no cell phones or lap tops.

    April 16, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. JES

    I think before you start on this you need to get your own houses in order.

    How can you tell someone in the financial world what to do when you can't even balance your own budget.

    April 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Joseph B

    Let's see – the financial companies get bailed out under the Republicans. The Republicans say we cannot change the current situation because we need to stop bailouts. Yet the Republicans are raking in lots of campaign cash from the financial firms. Something smells here... Oh it's just the Republicans lying, again...

    April 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Sean

    What a surprise. Unanimous opposition. Who do the Republicans think they're fooling at this point?

    April 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. wwf

    Well, what does the GOP have to add. What do they want in the bill. All I see again is no. Lets see some of your solutions. Keep this up and you will take yourselves out of the Nov. elections. Tell us how you want it structured, or shut the hell up.

    April 16, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. NiftyFifty

    So what else is new?

    April 16, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. David in San Francisco

    To the GOP – Please stop saying no and come back to the table with constructive ideas that show you're meeting the Democrats half way. Not only will that benefit the nation, it will also make it more difficult for the Democrats to call you obstructionists. A win-win in my book.

    April 16, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Ron

    This is simply a ploy of Republicans to kill any kind of regulation of Wall Street. While pretending to be on the side of "Main Street" they always vote in favor of the big guys. That's their history. It is no different now.

    April 16, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. MSdemocrat

    When are the Republicans going to support banking reform and consumer protection? I do not believe that they care about Americans at all! They just care about wealthy donors and wealthy corporations.

    April 16, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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