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. bob

    well someone is a liar. the GOP says it makes bailouts a guarantee. the DEMS says it would break up the companies if they start to fail. so who is lying??? i tend to say the GOP, they just can't stand that the DEMS are actually trying to help the country. if the DEMS keep passing reform, the GOP looks like the do-nothing party.

    April 16, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    How is it when these bills come up all I hear form Republicans is complaints without specifics? What wording is ti that they don't like? What is their suggestion to change it?
    It healthcare allover agian- no substance only misinformation. America- don;t buy inoto this demand facts!
    I'm not saying they're wrong but I am asking for the specifics!

    April 16, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. George Wagner

    It's unfathomable why the GOP would oppose this bill, especially in light of today's Goldman Sachs news. Do they care more about their own party than about the country?

    April 16, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. TonyInLargo

    And this is news??

    April 16, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Ron in Asheville, NC

    They're now AGAINST the "too big to fail policy"? What? They voted for it with TARP, and did so with a nearly total absence of checks on the system, which has produced a government giveaway to the financial sector. And then they voted to keep TARP over the administration's attempts to modify it. Now do they want us to think there's a principle involved? Geez. Gimme a break!

    April 16, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Patty

    Can someone please tell this McConnell to go away and his overly orange friend, too?

    April 16, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. ran

    Go for it Democrats and force the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans hand on this and ever other issue.

    Enough of the obstructionism and saying no to everything.

    We need to make sue after the 2010 elections that there are enough true Democrats and Independents to stop this child like behavior of the current Republican party once and for all.

    April 16, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    The blind arrogance of Harry Reid and his fellow charlatans knows no bounds. I can't wait until November when we kick him back home!

    April 16, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. jbakaregit

    Lord have mercy.

    Come on America - this November, vote the rest of the GOPers out continuing with the 2006 and 2008 elections. These people have no regard for this country and it's people whatsoever. Wall Street nearly took down the World economy with its rampant greed and now this party has the audacity to stand in the way of us fixing their red wagon. The GOP supporters like to talk a big game about "they are taking Congress back and then voting out Nobama and the libs, marxist, and socialist in November and 2012." My answer to them: it isn't going to happen.

    On top of that, this occurs on the same day the SEC is getting ready to prosecute Goldman Sachs for their part in this debacle.

    It is unequivocally clear that the GOP is an owned subsidary of Wall Street fat cats who like taxpayer bailouts when their greed nearly brings down the entire system. It's time to hold them accountable, and their subsidary, the GOP, accountable come November.

    April 16, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Eddie B.

    This stand by Republicans is a farce!!! They claim to be for the people on Main St. vs. Wall St., but they are not willing to make sure corporations could never hold the US hostage again for a bailout. They also had the ability to give real input on this bill in the Finance Committee, but gave not input. The GOP senator emerged from the meeting angry at his own party for not giving any input. This is ridiculous!!!!

    April 16, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. CAW in MD

    Wow, the Republicans are united against a good idea. Go figure. The circular firing squad continues.

    But somebody has to call the lies on the carpet. There is nothing - I repeat, nothing - in this bill that puts taxpayer money at risk. The only part of the bill where unsecured creditors might be compensated is from a fund that is maintained by a fee imposed on the banks. There is no taxpayer money at risk in this bill. None. When will the media call out the Republicans for the liars that they are?

    April 16, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Eddie B.

    This bill has been specifically written to prevent any bailouts in the future and the GOP is twisting it by saying it does the exact opposite. This is disingenious and a flat out lie to fool their supporters. The GOP leaders just met with top Wall Street firms and guaranteed they would block it. This sickens me.

    April 16, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. LouieD

    Okay, maybe this doesn't address the substance of the article, but I need to ask it. Does anyone else notice that Sen. Mitch McConnell always looks like he has jumper cables clamped onto his nuts?

    April 16, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Mickey, NY

    The GOP obstructionist-domestic terrorists are at it again, I see..

    April 16, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. JohnRJ08

    Mitch McConnell is a blatant liar.

    April 16, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Tony in Maine

    Collins proves once again that she is little more than a sock puppet for Chinless Mitch.

    The headline CNN used implies that the Republicans oppose the financial reform bill. Either incredibly naive or totally dishonest.

    GOP Senators United Against Anything Obama is For.

    April 16, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Liberal Guy

    The Senate Republicans aren't being obstructionist are they?


    April 16, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. CR

    News flash–Republicans side with big banks, and against the American consumer.

    April 16, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. Republicans Morons of the World

    The Morons of NO say NO again, ni big surprise here but there will be ine big surprise for the Morons of NO come November when voters say NO to the Morons of NO!

    April 16, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. Anonymous American

    Keep hurting average Americans with your vendetta to get Obama. We'll repay you next election. I'll vote NO for the party of NO. The Republicans have become a detriment to all Americans who want a positive change in this country.

    April 16, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. TR

    Mitch McConnell's a patently dishonest person, as his home town paper says. he is in bed with the bankers of Wall Street (the Republican's puppetmasters). For other Republican's to support him shows their favoring the Wall Street crowd over the Main Street crowd, mouthing falsehoods about endless bail outs that this is meant to end. Where are the Repubs who worked with Chris Dodd to make this work for the last several months. Typical Republican obstruction against the needs if our country to serve the wealthy and connected. So sad for all of us.

    April 16, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  22. AndyBlue

    And McConnell just got back from a trip to get contributions from big bankers. Thats just a coincidence i guess. I wonder how much he received from them to stop any reform and accountability bill from passing.

    These republicans make me sick with their obvious catoring to big businesses that have been screwing over 90% of Americans while they pay no taxes because of loopholes.

    Just disgusting. Too bad the teabaggers arent screaming about this.

    April 16, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. matt

    Wow what a surprise.....the party of do the opposite of what the black guy does.....bunch of rascist losers!!!

    April 16, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Greg in Colorado

    Wow what a big surprise!!!!

    April 16, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Joseph

    The political party of NO. The political party of OBSTRUCTION. The political party of NO ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS. The POLITICAL party. This is exactly what the citizens of this great country want stopped. Stop the politics and get the job done that you were hired to do or get out of Washington.

    April 16, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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