April 18th, 2010
02:29 PM ET
11 years ago

McConnell: There's a bailout fund in current Wall St. reform bill


Sen. Mitch McConnell responded Sunday to a personal attack directed at him by President Obama. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – A day after President Obama singled him out for personal criticism, the top Republican in the Senate defended his party’s claim that the current version of a financial regulatory reform bill contains a mechanism to initiate a bailout of faltering Wall Street giants.

Obama used his weekly Internet and radio address to take a rare personal shot at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. McConnell “made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts – when he knows that it would do just the opposite,” the president said.

Related: Obama touts financial reform, says GOP stance 'deceptive'

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, McConnell defended the position Senate Republicans have taken on the bill.

“There is a bailout fund in the bill that was reported out of the [Senate] Banking Committee,” McConnell said, “the partisan bill that came out of committee on a party line vote. I don’t think that’s in dispute.”

Watch: McConnell responds to Obama

When reminded by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the money in the disputed fund would be provided by banks themselves rather than taxpayers, McConnell responded, “Regardless of where the – how the money is produced, it is a bailout fund that sort of guarantees in perpetuity that we’ll be intervening once again to bail out these big firms.”

McConnell also noted that the administration itself has signaled its willingness late last week to remove the $50 billion from the final version of the legislation. On Friday, all 41 Republican senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, asking that the current version of the legislation be set aside and that Democrats again initiate bipartisan negotiations with the Republicans. The letter did not threaten a Republican filibuster but suggested that one could be in the offing.

Related: WH scrutinizes liquidation fund in Senate bill

McConnell said his party wants financial regulatory reform.

“I don’t know anybody in the Senate who thinks we ought not to pass a bill. The question is: What’s it going to look like? We want to make sure that we don’t set up a system where whereby we empower the government to continue to do what it’s been doing – running banks, car companies . . .The American people are saying we don’t want another bailout but they also don’t want a kind of perpetual, government massive interventions across the board running private businesses.”

Filed under: GOP • Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Wall Street
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Robrob

    “the partisan bill that came out of committee on a party line vote. I don’t think that’s in dispute.”

    1) What regulatory bills have the GOP presented?

    2) What party was in power when deregulation created the problem in the first place?

    3) What party has *always* been on the side of big business?

    April 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Xavier

    “Regardless of where the – how the money is produced," translates to dont let facts get in the way of my lies.

    April 18, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. really!!

    REPUBLICANS, GOP, TEA PARTIERS what ever you guys want to be called.....I know out all people you guys want to reform WALL STREET or do you? whats wrong with this Bill? I'm sure Betcha Ya'll can come up with some great excuses why it should not pass...Ooh and by the way the TEA PARTIERS is extremely quiet on this one....sure you wanna take america back. Momentum declining!!!

    April 18, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    KY Voter – thanks for the input. We all have our opinions, God knows, but the people who really matter are the ones that have to live with these guys. It would be nice to hear from more of you.

    April 18, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. ephraim

    This is exactly like teaching abstinence only in HS! The Republican fools think if we we have a bailout fund, it only encourages banks to fail, like having condoms only encourages teenagers to have sex. And then they speak to us like we are kids like we don't see through this tom-foolery. However, the American public are not teenagers. We are sick of you Idiots!

    The fund plane and simple is a massive insurance policy required for banks to have that protects the depositors – that the banks have to pay for out of their pockets! Its different than the FDIC. McConnell uses a straw-man to say look, Obama wants a provision to bailout banks in his new reform bill, see he is weak! But the Republican leaders say never again! and we'll make the banks shake hands a promise, wink, wink, you betcha! Idiots!

    Plan for disaster, work toward best practice. Most of us recognize banking is a business, and one that is speculative. But when you bet more than you own, use others money, and do so in contradiction of laws and Republican handshakes, and jeopardize the nation and the economy, its time you act like grown-ups, man-up and pay the penalty, and accept we are going to regulate you with new focus on protecting the nation and its people.

    April 18, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Rich Stoddard

    Whether Democrat or Republican you cannot like the provision of the government picking up the tab of any amount over 50 billion that this bill calls for. Remember the last bailout was 750 billion.

    April 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. An Alabamian, Possibly a future Louisvillian

    Mitch McConnell is showing how much of a hypocrite he is on Wall Street. One minute, he'll meet with the bankers on how they can help his gang kill the bill, or repeal it if it passes, and the next minute he'll complain about the bill not going far enough. We know where you stand Mitch, so don't try to fool us into thinking that you are on our side, and not the bankers.

    April 18, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Terry of Gilbert

    McConnel and the leadership of my Republican party are stupid and don't know how to lead except say 'NO.' Whenever my party returns to power what are we Repubs. to do.!!!!! Politicians pay back and we elected both parties to GOVERN, not to sit idly by while their lips are flapping in the wind. We the citizens of the GOP party need to throw these megahorns of negativity out of the GOP. I think I'm going to leave the GOP because they have no program – just say 'NO.' My party's leaders should oppose ideas but compromise is necessary to govern our democratic government. Under the present leadership we are self destructing and being overly influenced by the fringe elements like Limbag and Becky. Do they ever have apositive thing to say? GET RID OF PRESENT GOP LEADERSHIP–LET'S TAKE OUR PARTY BACK FELLOW GOPers..!!!!

    April 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Ray

    All we need is more government oversight and control. I suggest they pass the bill as is and let Barney Frank and Chris Dodd oversee it like the did Fannie and Freddie. And who knows, with a little bit of luck it might work as well as the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation that has done so much to protect defined benefit pension plans. I am certain they would get massive support from California state employees and teachers whose pension plans are so well funded.

    April 18, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Sam

    McConnell is taking a page from a Republican strategist who told him to claim bailout and to keep repeating it, over and over, and if he does, some lame-brains will begin to believe him. He's flat-out lying about taxpayer money (it's banks' insurance), and about this perpetuating bail-outs (it aims at enabling a shut-down). But, what's new?

    April 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. kravitz

    McConnell seems ignorant to the fact people realize the banks would be making a pool of money to rescue other banks. And we're questioning why he doesn't understand that. We're not questioning why he wants to confuse the issue. He did meet with bankers before deciding to follow Frank Luntz, after all.

    April 18, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. Doug

    The Political, I mean Treasury Department, run by one of the architects of the Wall Street Collapse, Tim Geithner, thinks this bill is great. His friends and him will survive if it passes. Big paydays and lucrative opportunities await his return to New York. My President Obama, despite this is still getting big democratic money from the billionaires, even when he "fights them in the press". Oh, you still think they did not elect him right!

    April 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. mfhpr

    Has anybody else noticed that just about every post by the "intellectuals" on the right contains a derogatory way of saying Pres. Obama's name? Just proof-positive that they have NO argument and are sticking together with a negative, nonfactual method of proving themselves. It's a shame to see what sore losers we have in this country. I'd like to see some positive input from the right that supports corrective measures for the painfully obvious short-comings that exist in our society. The statusquo is sending us into a death-spiral...

    April 18, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Mike in Texas

    When it comes to being pro-business, McConnell is an ultra liberal. Liberalism believes in free trade and trusting the good will of others.

    When it comes to big business, you can't trust the goodwill of anybody.

    April 18, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Tom from Ohio

    Dear Mr. McConnell,
    I strongly urge you to use any means possible to defeat this bill, if you don't, the kickbacks that you receive will stop!!!

    Sincerely yours,
    Mega-corporation "X"

    April 18, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. InlandEmperor

    McConnell...and his fellow neocon leftovers from the the Bush era...need to sit back and let this Presidenet...who that has the typical American's best interests at heart...do his best to get us our from under their eight years of taking our country down. Stop using Rove's tactics. It won't work this time.

    April 18, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. fernando

    based on what McConnell wants Wall Street should face minimal regulation so that it can make maximum returns with minimum risk to the firms. Then when they get into major meltdown situation, the government , at taxpayers expense, will have no choice but to step in and bail them out again lest the economy and global markets collapse. Then Mac will blame the dems and regulators and we will end up biting the big one. Conservative brainiacs need to get clear on one thing, the reform bill as it stands now with its $50B pool is not a prepetual bailout. The pool would be there so regulators force banks and firms, that choose to be stupid and risk all for some short term gain, to be dismantled not bailed out. Thos executives and managers that caused the problems would be gone and have no reprieve with tax dollars to continue operating and continue to get fat bonuses. Pretty simple. We need these professional financiers to begin having some accountability.

    April 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. CBR

    Senator Mitch McConnell has his own agenda which he shares with Rep. Boehner and Rep. Cantor. Their plan is to oppose everything and anything this year to make way for their return to power. Only then will they begin to send legislation forward. Of course, some will be the same as legislation put forward now, but most will reflect their very conservative backgrounds.

    The entire GOP is now falling into the arms of the very conservative portion of the party. They are afraid to do anything that might rock the boat. The moderates in the party are afraid to disagree for fear of losing their seniority.

    In all my years I have never seen anything so blatantly political and my I say neurotic, Even fear of Sen McCarthy was not as blatant. Of course, Margaret Chase Smith was not afraid but the two Maine Senators are.

    Wall Street needs some regulating. We are in a terrible state of financial affairs because of the banks and Wall Street. If not now when will you add some regulations so that we do not fall into this trap again.

    Come on folks, let's start writing letters and campaigning for what we believe is right. The TEA Party certainly doesn't represent my beliefs and I hope it does not speak for most of us

    April 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. bobby

    I really dont understand why people cant see all the lies and deception the GOP is spreading, first with Death Panels in the Health Care Bill etc etc etc now the lies about this Bail Out fund I truly hope the American people see through all this crap..For us living up north (Canada) it is truly inconceivable that these guys get away with all this crap..Bravo to Candy for setting him straight on this one..They really cant stand the fact that they got beaten by a very intelligent black man who has done more for your country in one year than many others that went before him. Ask yourself this, could George W Bush have manged to get leaders from 46 countries together for such an important conference..I dont think so!

    April 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Recreator

    Wait, what was the issue? Oh, I'm a Republican, the President is for this. Then the answer must be no.

    April 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Bobby

    If you look at how congress wants to structure the "bailout" fund, government funds would still be necessary for a bailout. Why create anything for these crooks? They should not be in business anyway. Take any government contracts away from them. Treat them like Toyota and show customers how bad they are and how they are on the take. Hurt their business. This will allow others a chance to move in. Create diversity so that we don't have too big to fail. These folks are not in kinder-care. Don't treat them like they are.

    April 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Linda

    McConnell and his cohorts have moved from being annoying and frustrating to simply pathetic. Our country is in such trouble and all they can do is oppose, oppose, oppose even if they have to make up fake information to plead their weak case...I hope Kentucky votes this guy out in their next election.

    April 18, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    If the financial industry is funding the pool, then that puts the risk of failure where it belongs: On the industry. My guess is there may be a few more bailouts in the future, but the industry will start to truly self-regulate when the shareholders of the banks utilizing the fund get tired of seeing their profits go down the drain because of the risky behavior of a few.

    April 18, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Leslie

    I cannot understand how anyone can trust this man! He did not answer any of Candy's questions, he just babbled!
    It's obvious that Pres. Obama is trying to be bi-partisan but they don't want to agree on anything without a fight. They are trying to make it look like Pres. Obama is not listening to them, which is just another lie. McConnell needs to retire.

    April 18, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Thomas

    How is it a bank bailout if the money came from the banks? Its nothing more than insurance. Working americans pay into unemployment and social security, when they suddenly become unemployed they get some of that money back its the same thing.

    STOP YOUR LIES McConnell!!!

    April 18, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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