The U.S. Senate's Republican leader on Tuesday spoke strongly against a Democratic financial regulation reform bill that will soon be introduced in the full Senate for formal debate and a vote.
"We must not pass the financial reform bill that's about to hit the floor. The fact is, this bill wouldn't solve the problems that led to the financial crisis. It would make them worse," said Senator Mitch McConnell in floor remarks.
"The American people have been telling us for nearly two years that any solution must do one thing — it must put an end to taxpayer funded bailouts for Wall Street banks," he said.
"This bill not only allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street banks; it institutionalizes them," he said.
The Senate is inching toward a final vote, possibly coming this month or next, on a sweeping bill that would impose tighter rules on banks and capital markets in response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
"It's going to be a fight," said Senator Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, in floor remarks.
Durbin said the financial firms working to oppose reforms are the same ones that piled up excessive risks and leverage in their "excitement and greed" during the real estate bubble that broke in 2007-2008, precipitating the crisis.
The Senate bill would establish a new financial consumer watchdog to protect Americans from abusive mortgages, deceptive credit cards and other financial products.
"The banks are howling over this notion that we would have an agency that actually looks out for consumers," Durbin said.
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