Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama Meets Resistance From G.O.P. on Finance Bill

From the New York Times:
In the face of stiff opposition from Senate Republicans, President Obama urged leaders of both parties in Congress to spend the next few weeks coming to terms on a financial regulation bill that would head off the need for bailouts in the future and bring the trading of complex financial instruments out of the shadows.

During a meeting with leaders of Congress from both parties in the Cabinet Room Wednesday morning, the president rejected the contention of Republicans — and notably their leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — that the measure offered by Senate Democrats would only make bailouts of gigantic, risk-laden institutions more likely.

“I am absolutely confident that the bill that emerges is going to be a bill that prevent bailouts — that’s the goal,” Mr. Obama said, with Mr. McConnell sitting impassively nearby.

Mr. Obama is fresh off his big health-care victory, and the financial reform measure will be a test of how much clout he now has on Capitol Hill. But while the president expressed confidence at the outset of the session that the two parties could work together to produce “an effective bipartisan package that assures we never have too-big-to-fail again,” the leaders did not sound nearly as confident after the nearly hour-long session.
For a good analysis of the game of chicken developing between Democrats and Republicans over financial reform, see this piece from TalkingPointsMemo. And for a piece that suggests that Sen. McConnell may not be able to keep moderate members of his caucus on board, see here.

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