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. Gerry NH

    Do they mean bring your idea and we will work with you like they did with the health care bill that the majority of the people did not want.

    April 16, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. chaz in colorado

    Of course they are against it! They're Republicians! They are against anything and everything proposed by the current administration. They are willing to do whatever it takes to make it appear that this administration is failing. Undoing the harm done by the previous GOP administration has been and will continue to be a major undertaking for years to come, and now the GOP is just making it worse by trying to blame their own failures on the Obama administration.

    April 16, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. independent

    Let's be honest, they don't want any reform – unless it includes a tax cut.

    April 16, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. If We Can Defeat Him On Health Care It Will Be His Waterloo

    If We Can't Defeat Him On Wall Street Reform It Will Be Ours.

    April 16, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Chris

    I'm guessing every news agency in America has a headline ready to go at all times that reads "GOP united in opposition to (fill in the blank)". The Party of NO is at it again. Of course, they could just seek to ammend the bill, if the whole bailout thing is really their only objection. But they have to destroy the bill entirely. The whole bailout objection is nothing but a cheap ploy. Republicans would never allow a bill that would stop rich corporatiions from acting completely recklessly. It goes against everything they stand for.

    April 16, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Paul from Phoenix

    Hmmm, do I trust anything Chris Dodd says......NO! He should be in jail.

    April 16, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Of course they are united against it. Why if we had strong financial controls during the Bush administration, then their buddies like at Goldman Sachs couldn't have been carrying out the fraud like they have been charged of doing. They certainly don't want that gravy train to end. To hell with the middle class who bailed their criminal butts out.

    April 16, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mitch McConnell is so full of it. Really.

    April 16, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. JS007

    GOP is on a suicide mission. Even tea partiers want real Wall Street reform.

    April 16, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Lynn

    The Republicans are riled if their underwear is the wrong color. What a bunch of miserable people.

    April 16, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Livin' the good life

    WOW CNN! Maybe you could have just put the headline as "Republicans say NO AGAIN" then go on to..."now, on to more important news"...I bet the people/persons following this "non"-story wished they were researching something else. The Relic's are SO 90's!...Beau Colby

    April 16, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Doublethink


    The party of nothing, for nothing, by nothing will go down in flames if they keep stalling the legislation. Why are they so aggresivly wasting our money, we pay them to do something, yet all the Republicans can do is stall.

    April 16, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans are at it again! Lies and information – this time regarding financial reform!

    The tail needs to stop wagging the dog! The GOP lost, because they're policies are tried-and-failed!

    We need real financial reform – not a bunch of rhetoric from the GOP who wants our President and our country to fail.

    Let the bill come to the Senate floor, where it can be debated before the American people!

    April 16, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Drew

    It takes nerves of steel or brains of clay to take such a bold stand when we all remember why Wall Street just crashed and caused so many of us to lose our jobs. Prevent the next crash, geniuses.

    April 16, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. Larry

    McConnell is on C.R.E.W.'s list of Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington.

    Of course he's against financial reform. Securities and Investment firms are his main contributors.

    You Republicans need to pack your bags. We're going to get the rest of you out of office in November.

    April 16, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. Ilene

    Hey, this is not news. It would only be news if they supported it – not opposed it. They oppose everything.

    April 16, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Can You Believe That Rush Limbaugh Blamed the Unions for the Massey Mine Disaster, Even Though No Union Members Work There? What a Putz

    If the November election is about Wall Street, Mitch "the Turtle" will need a new shell to crawl under.

    April 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. Ed

    It comes as no suprise to me that they want to block reform. Besides the fact they want to block everything, they certainly want to block any legislation that would prevent the next swindle of the middle class by the Wall Street robber barons.

    April 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Ken

    GOP saying "no"? What else is new? Those members care only about political gain rather than doing what is right. Most people don't really pay that much attention to politics. So, when they see things not getting done, they simply blame the party in charge. That's the GOP strategy. That's just sad...What's the point of power if you don't want to do anything positive with it. To people like Mitch McConnel, this is all simply a game; a sad political game. Nothing more.

    April 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    This is the same party that CHEERED when we learned we lost a shot for the Olympics for Chicago. NO to reform...No to America...YES to radical extreemism...remember America, the Taliban wants you to die...and pennyless...

    April 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Molly Weasley

    Let the Rethugs try to filibuster against a bill that will protect consumers against big bank excesses. See where it gets them. What liars.

    April 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. jim atmadison

    Grand Obstuctionist Party. I'm looking forward to November when these lockstep losers pay the price for caring more about political posturing than they care about the American people.

    April 16, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. erle hall

    Well, now we know whose side the Republicans are really on. After Rep. Boehner told business execs not to let regulators push them around we now have a united Republican front to sabotage any meaningful reform of the very sectors that brought our country's economic system to its knees.

    Now, more than ever before, it is evident that the Republicans are on the side of big business and the wealthy and are willing to put the rest of us at risk. Why doesn't the tea party get mad about this????

    April 16, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Average American

    STOP threatening, and DO IT.

    April 16, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |

    Tell us something we didn't already know McNo! This is a given!

    April 16, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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