Republicans Stall Crucial Vote On Financial Rules
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's Audie Cornish reports.
AUDIE CORNISH: Despite persistent talk of bipartisanship negotiations, both parties appear only to be digging in their heels. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to cast financial regulation as yet another misfire in the Obama administration agenda.
MITCH MCCONNELL: Pick the issue, whether it's the Stimulus, the debt, health care, bailouts, you name it: The concerns Republicans raised are being validated. As I said, all of us want to deliver a reform bill that will tighten the screws on Wall Street. But we're not going to be rushed into another massive bill based on the assurances of our friends on the other side.
CORNISH: Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd says Republicans should be feeling the pressure.
CHRIS DODD: You're going have hearings at Senator Levin's committee, which is going to highlight once again what happened to people, and you're still saying no. I won't even consider debating measures that would at least minimize that kind of thing reoccurring again and putting as many people at risk? I don't understand the logic.
CORNISH: And don't get Dodd started on his own caucus.
DODD: Groundhog Day here.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
CORNISH: Dodd's referring to Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, who joined the Republicans in blocking the bill. He had this to say.
BEN NELSON: I don't think there is sufficient information about what the ultimate bill is going to be for me to be comfortable to vote for a motion to cloture, or a to motion to proceed.
CORNISH: Another player from health care who's resurfacing in the financial bill debate is Olympia Snowe. The Republican from Maine says her party concerns must be met now, and that it's too late once the bill hits the floor.
OLYMPIA SNOWE: Yeah, similarly to health care reform, you know, I would be sure, for example, that we would have an open amendment process, and that didn't materialized. That did not occur.
CORNISH: Never mind that Democrats are also getting a hard push from the left to put even tougher provisions in the bill.
BERNIE SANDERS: What I want to underline here is I hope we just don't end up with a financial reform bill. I hope we end up with a meaningful financial reform bill.
CORNISH: Audie Cornish, NPR News, the Capitol.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.