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. Sissy

    You could spoon feed these Republicans and they still wouldn't be satisfied......they will continue to stonewall, they are definately the Party of NO....NO IDEAS, NO SOLUTIONS, NO BI PARTISONSHIP, NO NOTINGS........

    April 16, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    Of course they are.

    April 16, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Don't expect John McCain aka Keating 5 to vote yes, his son already took his bonus and left Silver Bank a month before it failed leaving Bank of American to pay off investors and we the taxpayers bailed out Bank of America. He's the crook in the chicken house.

    April 16, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. NC Moderate

    Good, let the republicans try to run as Wall Street's errand boys in November. Richard Burr is already going down in North Carolina for voting to facilitate sending jobs overseas.

    April 16, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Papasan in Az

    GOP must have got the call on the RED PHONE from Wall Street!
    Send more tax payers $$ MONEY $$.

    April 16, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Jean2

    It is beginning to sound like a broken record Just anything they will block it.

    April 16, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. MB

    I think that the GOP are using the "You can fool most of the people most of the time". I think that CNN should expose the rank hypocrisy of the talking points since there is no government bailout in the bill. In fact it expressly forbids government bailouts.And its suppose to do the opposite that is break up banks. The GOP have found that because of talk radio and fox news they can get away with rank lies. Most of the tea party crowd dont even know that taxes were reduced this year for everybody below 250,000 and that nearly a third of the stimulus was tax cuts. Ignorance maybe you fix, but stupid I guess not

    April 16, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. LK

    Really ??? They are opposing the bill – oh... My what a surprise !!!.....
    I don't really think we need to pay them anything to be sitting in the capitol. We can just mark "NO" for votes on that side of the Aisle and carry on with business.

    April 16, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Florida Joe

    If Dodd thinks the Repubs will not engage in nonsense he hasn't been paying attention........McChinless outright lies about the bill, is called out by his homestate news yet he still continues..........These Repub clowns are all in the pocket of the Financial Industry in the USA so what would you expect..............If you like the way Wall Street & the Banks have treated the American people stick with the Repubs..Your kind of people...........We need to regulate these clowns NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    Gee I sure am surprised. Republicans are stalling the progress of legislature. Never saw this before.

    April 16, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. Ron

    I want my country back!!!

    You know, back when not every Republican was a freaking ideot. Where did the party of "lets not do anything to upset big corporate sponsers" turn into the party of "we will not even talk about it!"? If this country is to survive, every Republican and several Democrats need to be removed via the voting booth.

    April 16, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. JR

    I swear, the GOP must pride itself in being obstructionist in every way. They call for financial reform and then stonewall 100% against any. What a pack of jerks,

    April 16, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Mike

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

    ...Is this a surprise to anyone?

    "GOP Senators united in opposition to anything and everything".

    The Dems could write a bill crammed full of GOP ideas (it wouldn't be a very long bill; ideas firmly grounded in a reality-based world seem to be lacking on the right these days), and the GOP would _still_ oppose it.

    April 16, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    Back to normal on the Republican side of the aisle I see. Blocking any proposed legislation not Republican made.

    April 16, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. How sad!

    It would be nice if Mitch McConnell and those Republican senators did something that benifited regular people and not just their big-business donors.

    But then I guess I am expecting too much.

    April 16, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Big surprise.

    April 16, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Jeff in Houston

    Dear Republicans:

    Is it your own repacious greed that prevents you from reigning in the repacious greed of Wall Street?

    Oh wait. I get it. They can't pay for your motally bankrupt souls, multiple times, like a sack of bad mortgages, unless they make obscene anounts of money on the backs of the American Middle Class. Now I understand. Just checking. I like to understand how things work.



    April 16, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. please

    The GOP is opposing something? Oh my god, stop the presses, who would have every thought?

    The GOP opposes everything, even stuff that isn't happening. I wish they would start opposing themselves, oh wait that's what the teabaggers are for, never mind.

    April 16, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Shock of shocks!!! The GOP are united against the Democrats!!! Is this supposed to be something new? President Obama and the Democrats could put forth a bill to make sunrise that start of the day and the GOP would be united against it.

    April 16, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. BobH

    The amazing thing about the Republicans on this issue is that they say "we need a reform bill that protects Americans from these bank failures and unregulated trading" when they are doing everything they can to weaken the bill and reduce protection.

    Just as President Bush was successful in his attempt to allow more pollution through the "Clear Skies Act" and increase deforestation in his "Healthy Forests Act," the Repubs are attempting to return the banking industry to the same conditions that led to the financial meltdown, and say they're protecting Americans from them.

    April 16, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Josh from Pittsburgh

    Republicans – – the party of Wall Street!

    April 16, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Liberal4Obama

    It's nice to see republicans siding with Wall Street instead of protecting Main Street... can't wait for November to send them packing

    April 16, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Olivia60

    Whats new. should we be surprised? remember this is the party of no.

    April 16, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. David

    Party of No, the crap hit the fan under your watch GOP get real and do something right rather than continuing to play politics on everything. We all know that your leaked speaking points from months ago on this subject talked to you doing exactly what you are now doing, busted, shut up or get out.

    April 16, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Pragmatic

    The republicans bluster against (fill in the blank ) ! No matter what the issue, the GOP pretends it has all the answers (but never tells us what they are) and denounces everything the Democrats attempt.

    Maybe the GOP has a better idea – but the party reminds me of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" .... no one is listening anymore ...

    April 16, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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