Senate GOP Heading For The Cliff
Senate Republicans went on the Sunday chatfests to tell the country they plan to block the financial reform bill today until they get everthing they want. And what don't they like about the bill and want changed?
Republicans have recently focused most of their criticism on a proposed $50 billion "resolution fund" that would help cover the costs of dealing with a major financial firm's failure. Although the financial industry would pay for the fund, Republicans have argued that it would allow regulators to treat creditors of failing firms unevenly and could leave the door open to bailouts.
Except that the new Washington Post/ABC News poll out an hour ago shows that the public supports the industry-financed resolution fund concept by a 52%-41% margin.
The two parties must find common ground over the "Volcker rule," a proposal that would ban Wall Street banks from engaging in certain investment activities, such as owning hedge funds. They also have lingering disagreements about the details of the proposed consumer regulator.
Except that the same poll showed that the public supports strong financial reforms measures like those suggested by Volcker by a 34-point margin. Oh, and that consumer finance protection agency that the GOP has been fighting for months?
The area with the highest levels of cross-party support is on more robust federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies make consumer loans, such as auto loans, credit cards and mortgages. Here, 44 percent of Republicans approve of stricter guidelines, joining 75 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents on the issue.
So go ahead Senate Republicans - please go and filibuster this bill, and while you are at it, please stop all business in the Senate to do Wall Street's bidding. The optics will be perfect.