Obama Blasts Mitch McConnell’s ‘Cynical and Deceptive’ Lies on Wall Street Reform
April 17, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-President Barack Obama devoted his weekly address this Saturday to the vital importance of enacting Wall Street reform, to prevent another financial disaster. Borrowing Warren Buffett’s description of derivatives, as “financial weapons of mass destruction,” Obama stressed the importance of transparency in “complicated financial transactions.” And with a filibuster showdown about to erupt between Republicans and Democratic lawmakers in the Senate, Obama chastised the GOP for siding with special interests instead of “even basic, common-sense rules” to protect our financial system and American consumers.
Obama reiterated that the financial regulatory reform bill puts an end to big bank bailouts and the idea of “too big to fail,” despite the “cynical and deceptive assertion,” made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) and supported by every single Republican lawmaker, that the bill “institutionalizes” bailouts.
GOP senators, led by Mitch McConnell, signed a letter that was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatening to filibuster the Wall Street reform bill, unless negotiations on the bill continued into the next millennium. “We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to continue to subsidize this ‘too big to fail’ policy,” the letter said. “We must ensure that Wall Street no longer believes or relies on Main Street to bail them out.”
Obama, in his weekly address, took direct aim at Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, for their falsehoods about financial reform without mentioning them by name:
“Now, unsurprisingly, these reforms have not exactly been welcomed by the people who profit from the status quo – as well their allies in Washington. This is probably why the special interests have spent a lot of time and money lobbying to kill or weaken the bill. Just the other day, in fact, the Leader of the Senate Republicans and the Chair of the Republican Senate campaign committee met with two dozen top Wall Street executives to talk about how to block progress on this issue.
Lo and behold, when he returned to Washington, the Senate Republican Leader came out against the common-sense reforms we’ve proposed.
In doing so, he made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts – when he knows that it would do just the opposite. Every day we don’t act, the same system that led to bailouts remains in place – with the exact same loopholes and the exact same liabilities. And if we don’t change what led to the crisis, we’ll doom ourselves to repeat it. That’s the truth. Opposing reform will leave taxpayers on the hook if a crisis like this ever happens again.”
The President threw down the gauntlet of Wall Street reform, informing Republicans, that with them or without them, “We will hold Wall Street accountable.”