Politico reports that Congressional Republicans have quietly taken the first step towards rolling back another signature Obama achievement: Wall Street reform. Here’s the Dem response:
Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Banking Committee member who is in charge of the Senate Democrats messaging machine, was a bit more blunt in his view of the GOP’s recent efforts to take down the law.
“Listen, we had a big financial crisis and we needed reform. To just repeal them, what are they putting in its place?” Schumer said.
This one is going to get quite interesting. After all, you’d think this issue — unlike, say, the battle over health care repeal — would be a slam dunk for Dems. Obama and Dems passed Wall Street reform after we pulled back from the brink of economic catastrophe. Public hostility towards Wall Street continues to run high. Unlike in the case of health care reform, polls showed unequivocal public support for financial reform. All this may explain why Republicans are proceeding far more cautiously and in a much more low profile way on this front than on health care.
But the politics could get murky. While you’d normally think the continued economic doldrums would serve as a reminder of Wall Street excess, and make it tougher for Republicans to pursue deregulation, they will no doubt argue that the sputtering recovery is precisely why regulations need to be rolled back — in order to free up the economy from “job killing” regulation.
That’s why Dems are already moving to cast the GOP zeal for deregulation as purely ideological. As Barney Frank put it: “It’s an ideological thing — they don’t believe in regulation.”
This one could provide another chance to draw a very clear contrast between the parties — on turf that may be a bit more favorable to Dems than health care repeal or spending. Though Dems have thus far failed to unify on spending, and don’t really have the upper hand in the health repeal fight, the early signs are that on this issue, at least, Dems may try to seize the opportunity afforded them.