Washington (CNN) - Just hours after Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking debate on a Wall Street reform bill Monday, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin slammed the GOP for refusing to act, saying "the filibusters have to end."
Durbin expressed his frustration during an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, listing effort after effort made by Senate Democrats to include Republicans in the legislative process. But even at this late hour, the Illinois Democrat said he is still open to Republican input.
"I'm willing to listen to any constructive suggestion. What I'm not willing to do is basically say we are going to change and weaken the bill to bring in Republican votes. We want to make sure this bill is strong," Durbin said.
Asked by CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash to address Republican concerns that the legislation being pushed by Democrats is rife with loopholes, Durbin said the bill would strengthen regulators, and would prevent another case of fraud similar to the allegations of misconduct financial giant Goldman Sachs is currently facing.
"I think that this bill really strengthens the hand of the oversight agencies that would watch Goldman Sachs or any other company that tries to do what they are accused of doing. It's only an allegation, but it's a serious
one, that they were playing both side of the street if you will, selling a product and basically betting that it would fail," Durbin said. "That to me is the wrong thing to do. It's the kind of thing that makes people so cynical and upset with what has happened on Wall Street."
When asked by CNN's Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger whether the banking lobby still enjoys a vice-grip on both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Durbin expressed confidence that his colleagues will act.
"I think we are moving to the point now, where even the Republicans believe we've got to do something really basic here to restore the public confidence and to make sure that people have some belief that their government is going to stand up and fight them, so we don't end up with another taxpayer paid bailout," Durbin said.
Asked by John King whether Illinois Democratic senatorial candidate Alexi Giannoulias should remain in the race for Barack Obama's old Senate seat after the failure of his family's bank on Friday, Durbin defended the Illinois state treasurer.
"We had seven banks close on Friday in Illinois, and of course it hurt him. This is a bank his father started as an immigrant to this country, but Giannoulias has been removed from the bank for over four years, because he is our state treasurer, and had nothing to do with 90 percent of the loans that this bank had in its portfolio. So I think he needs to answer the questions directly and honestly, and he has done that, and he needs to continue to do that," Durbin said.