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. Tony

    Once again GOP is telling lies and demonstrating even stronger that they are indeed the "Party of NO." When are the American people going to wake up and see that THEY (Republicans) are the reason nothing ever gets done in Washington?

    April 16, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Republicans want to have their cake and eat it too...

    EITHER they think that SOMEHOW, after centuries of GREED being the ruling force in Capitalism, that Capitalists are going to let ethics rule their decision making (which would make them naive or stupid);
    OR they are shilling for Big Business, DETERMINED to make sure that there is no price to pay for knowing, willful Capitalist GREED (including their own).

    What GOOD reason do Republicans have to protect Big Business from ethics and honor?

    April 16, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. m smith

    as usual the repos are making a big noise over nothing. The bill is do do exactly what they are yelling about but of course it did not come from their think tank so let's say NO

    April 16, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    Party of NO is at it again!

    April 16, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Jerry in Ohio

    Dear GOP,
    Fight this bill or the kickbacks stop!!

    Mega-conglomerate corporation, LLC

    April 16, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. GOP =

    Got Obama Psychosis

    April 16, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Nick

    Republicans united in opposition.. Imagine that.

    April 16, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. pat c.

    what a toad this crook is. the jigg is up republican speaker, america now knows you are simply spouting talking points from a polster that wrote this little speech before the bill was even written. we also know you met with the wal-street group asking for donations that has greased your nasty pockets with cash to make sure you stop any bill that will regulate and put a stop to the crooked wal-street gang ripping off the american people .
    don't make more of a fool out of your greedy selves than you already have because the lies won't work on this bill. this bill is for the american people and you know it. god are you republicans so stupid that you now let paid polsters write your speeches for you. can you not even say NO on your own merit??

    April 16, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Eleano

    This is to much, I never will vote for a republican again!!!

    April 16, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. TheTruthForOnce, NOT BS

    If the republicans wanted real reform, they would have done something a long time ago to prevent the financial meltdown in our country. They didn't do it then and they are trying to stop this now. I'm wondering just what planet they are from and their supporters as well.

    April 16, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. doight

    The GOP doesn't want reform yet the fools in the Tea Party are aginst the Dems that lowered taxes and are trying to reign in Wall Street. I think they are just against non whites and gays.

    April 16, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. mark in miami

    The DEMOCRATS cannot do anything right!!!

    They are gonna try to force another bill down our throats? Are they really that crazy???? YES!!!!

    April 16, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Crazy Harry

    This isn't any different that they way they have been behaving in the past. Unified opposition pretty much sums it up. What a bunch of losers!

    April 16, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. dustin

    Repubs continue to lie in order to justify voting no, it's ridiculous.

    April 16, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. jack

    The GOP, lead by hillbilly Sen. from Ky. needs a serious smackdown.
    The money he has courted from Wall Street bankers and lobbyist to keep things as they are without changes only leaves open the door to them repeating the crash of 2008 again.
    The Glass-Steagall Act has to be brought back. To provide a separation between Investment banking and commercial banking. The removal of these protections can be laid at the feet of the man who sponsored the bill to kill this act. Former republican Sen. Phil Gramm (makes you wonder how much campaign cash he banked for this move) and guess what? He was dead WRONG with his actions. Just look at what happened. Only strong controls and complete separation of investment and commercial banking will protect the public this from happening again.

    April 16, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. kennywest

    What else is new, Obama getting to many accomplishments?

    April 16, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This will be your WATERRLOO Mitch!

    April 16, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. Michael

    The Republicans must have several loose screws. They are obviously kowtowing to the banking industry in opposing these reforms. Then again, much of the nonsense that happened that brought the world economy to its knees happened in plain view on their watch, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.

    April 16, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Patti

    Republicans don't want reform. They are beholden to big banks and wall street. Any steps the democrats try and take to reform or regulate the huge financial institutions and prevent future taxpayer bailouts or a repeat of the dangerous games banks play will be stopped by republicans. Middle America will continue to suffer while the big banks continue to do what they always do: make insane profits playing games with our money.

    April 16, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Greg in Cabot, AR

    To the GOP: stop playing politics with my money, regulate the bastrds that think my savings can be used as gambling chips where they keep the profits if they win and I pay the loss when they loose.

    April 16, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. JonDie

    As usual, the country burns...and Republicans do NOTHING.

    April 16, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. MikeH

    Time for Americans to rise up and confront the Republican scum who would destroy America so that their corporate fat cat buddies will profit.

    April 16, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. yuhmad

    The GOP's are obstructionists to everything living thing that the Democrats propose. I totally agree with the Democrats to cut the GOP off and do everything on they own.

    April 16, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Typical GOP. Claiming that they are against the reform for the sake of the American people when it's obvious that their big business campaign donors don't want any reform whatsoever. Will bet any amount of money that if the language the GOP wants inserted against bailouts is included in the bill, they will vote against it anyway.

    April 16, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. yuhmad

    The GOP's are obstructionists to every living thing that the Democrats propose. I totally agree with the Democrats to cut the GOP off and do everything on they own.

    April 16, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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