Obama calls for financial regulation, GOP for budget in weekly addresses
May 19th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama calls for financial regulation, GOP for budget in weekly addresses

(CNN) – After a rough week in the investment industry, President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to urge Congress to stand by increased regulations of Wall Street, while Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin continued the Republican call for the Democratic-led Senate to pass a budget.

The recession was caused by Wall Street treating the "financial system like a casino," and this week’s $2 billion loss suffered by JPMorgan Chase could have cost taxpayers, Obama said.

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Congress should back reforms such as those enacted nearly two years ago "because we can't afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy," Obama said.

That law, known as Dodd Frank, passed Congress by narrow margins and is a target of Republicans on the campaign trail.

The president said the new rules require financial powerhouses to "write out a 'living will' that details how you'll be wound down if you do fail."

"So unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform," he said, then defended his position from suggestions that it is an undue restriction on the free market.

"I believe the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history; that businesses are the engine of growth; that risk-takers and innovators should be celebrated," he said. "But I also believe that at its best, the free market has never been a license to take whatever you want, however you can get it."

Meanwhile, Johnson said in the Republicans' address that Democrats in the Senate and Obama are acting irresponsibly by refusing to pass a budget.

"For his part, President Obama has done nothing to encourage the Senate to pass a budget. Just this week in the Senate, the president's budget lost by a vote of 0 to 99," Johnson said. "This is a stunning repudiation of his leadership. At a time when America requires sober financial management, President Obama's fiscal plans have been so unserious, that not a single member his own party supported them with their vote."

Spurred by Republicans, the Senate held votes on five budget proposals on Wednesday, none of which passed.

The vote appeared to some as an effort to score political points, but Johnson said Saturday, "The American people understand that we are facing enormous economic challenges. And they're looking for solutions, not political games."

He also criticized Obama for his broader economic policies and his health care law.

"Instead of concentrating on job creation, President Obama has concentrated on growing government and increasing its control over our lives," Johnson said.

The jabs will likely continue next week, when the president is to speak on the economy and GOP candidate Mitt Romney returns to the campaign trail.

Filed under: Budget • President Obama • Ron Johnson
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Nation needs deravative regulations, congress/senate term limits, anti lobby laws, earmark strictures, period....

    May 19, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  2. Doindia

    See how the media is lying ! http://www.ProofTheyAreRelated .com

    May 19, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  3. Stuffit

    I would like to see some tougher welfare regulations, like drug tests for recipients and identification, a crackdown on selling birth certificates so they can scam more of our hard earned tax money, but that won't happen, because these are the types of people that vote for the most incomptetent, inept, corrupt, union toady president in the history of this country and help the corrupt unions steal the election for him.

    May 19, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  4. girish

    they are getting bonuses , but there should be clause for punishment if transactions are done with breaking rules

    May 19, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. judy

    the GOP Goofey old perverts will do nothing as usual. Thats all they have done for 3 years. Oh and pass a great big military budget that even the pentagon didn't want. Figure that one out. Obama 2012 FORWARD

    May 19, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  6. Scott

    President Obama’s stimulus package, Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank finance bill, restricting exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas, and taking away freedom of choice, including religious beliefs, have all had negative impacts on the economy and citizens. His diplomacy and desire to be kind to our enemies and abandon our allies is troubling.

    May 19, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. Dave

    Obama is asking the GOP for a budget? The demoractically controlled Senate has not passed a budget for 3 years. Give me a break!

    May 19, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Devon

    This is still such an Incredible Country. Time to tax every man woman & child that is working 1 % to go directly to the deficet. This is not Democratic or Republican. Its time Congress stops F-NG around & acts ficaliy Responsible. Thanks & God Bless America!

    May 19, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Certainly the Senate needs to take up the Budget. Something that has been absent for as long as Obama has been President, if I'm not mistaken. Not sure about Regulations for Wall street but isn't Dodd/Frank like locking the Barn Door after the hourse escaped? I don't think you can blame Wall Street for high unemployment. Allowing people housing loans they had no way to pay was the root cause. Does Obama know what he is talking about or doesn't he???

    May 19, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Devon

    That few Billion for Oil Subsidies going bye bye, Thats a Start!

    May 19, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Anonymous

    first: don't hang up the face of Bush in the White house, it will be a shamespot on the wall.

    second: Obama 2012!

    May 19, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Natalie in MN

    Right on, Mr. President, your casino analogy is very accurate! We stand by you to push for regulation. The GOP is way to much on the side of corporate robbers. It's sad that half this country is willing to step backwards and vote for Romney, the corporate suit. Have they learned nothing from the Bush failure?

    May 19, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. gg

    the party of no will turn it down why bother

    May 19, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. CAWinMD

    Well, maybe the Senate could pass a budget if the Republicans would stop mounting filibusters. But that's probably too much to ask of a party whose idea of a budget is to take food and health care from poor people in order to give tax cuts to the well off among us, end up increasing the deficit because of it, and calling it "responsible".

    May 19, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Dean

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.
    It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills.
    It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.
    Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally.
    Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.'
    Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.
    America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
    ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    May 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. A not-so-stupid former republican

    House republicans pass an irresponsible budget they know has no chance of passing the Senate and then filibuster it in the Senate to assure that no budget will be passed and then blame Democrats for not proposing a budget. Well folks, it is not the Senate's duty to propose a budget, that is the House's responsibility. If the republicans would propose a budget that doesn't screw the middle class to benefit the wealthy, a budget could be passed. If American voters were smart they would banish the republican party to the wilderness but I doubt they are that smart!

    May 19, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Lisakauai

    It's kind of funny since Harry Reid has received several budgets passed by the House. I always wonder why he shoves them on his desk rather than use them as starting points for budget discussions. We don't have to agree with the budgets passed but we should at least be picking out the acceptable parts and negotiating the unacceptable. OR Harry could get the Senate to come up with a budget.

    May 19, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. gg

    like romney said there,s us rich folks ,then theres those other folks

    May 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. James

    What needs regulations??? Liberals.....that can be done at the polls....

    What was the cause of our current economic meltdown?
    CNN Money article:
    The panel heard from former Fannie chief executives Daniel Mudd and Franklin Raines; former Freddie Mac CEOs Richard Syron and Leland Brendsel; a former Fannie Mae chief credit officer. Fannie and Freddie, publicly traded but federally backed companies, control or guarantee about $5 trillion in mortgage loans. They purchase large amounts of home loans, bundle them together and divide them into securities that can be sold to investors.
    The companies, which were taken under federal control in September, have drawn criticism for taking on too much risk, exacerbating the credit crisis when the housing market declined.
    The Democrats are up to their eyeballs in causing this crisis.
    Obama in the Senate did Nothing…

    Dodd/Frank??? Job Killer and those two belong in prison

    May 19, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Gurgyl

    You miss–had it not been stimulus package, entire nation would have found chaos, obamacare is nonsense epithet, it is "American health care–idiot, needed one, or else nation's #1 thugs like bcbs rob this nation–are you drunk? Dodd-Frank reform is the one putting fiscal system intact–as I said this nation needs deravative reform, senate/congress term-limits,
    Anti-lobby laws, Earmark strictures. Bob Dole stole millions out of lax earmarks. Wake up, America. I still say–Obama my choice.

    May 19, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. chuck weidemann

    The president already has made cuts to the budget that republicans agreed to....only to have them not keep their word and now add to the deficits by increasing spending in the defence portion. I'm sure they want to cut in any other area that may help the general population as it serves no purpose other than to help people not as fortunate as the 1%.

    May 19, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. B.

    The Filibuster and the need to go beyond a simple majority to 60% will continue to destroy ANY progress.
    The Republicans will continue with their attempt to destroy this President, to the peril of the country.

    They are the most counterproductive and destructive Republican congressional people to ever serve.
    They are willing to literally take the government down to serve their own agenda to destroy Obama.

    May 19, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Lizzie

    Devon, you are repeating the same as the democrats/liberals, what OIL subsidies, if you single out ONE industry and take away their tax credits, should you not advocate to take away ALL subsidies for ALL industries, especially the Farm subsidies from HOLLYWOOD millionaires who have an estate with one horse and claim to be a farm.

    May 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Dvet

    The republiklans cant rob the middle class and the government with regulations. they want to regulate themselves.

    May 19, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans want the "Ryan Budget" passed before they will bend and I don't believe Mr. President is going to sign-off on that, I pray.

    May 19, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |