They’re not campaigning on it in earnest — at least not yet — but Republican leaders say that, given the power, they would like to do away with Wall Street reform much like they have already discussed repealing health care reform.
“I think it ought to be repealed,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner, in response to a question from TPMDC, at his weekly press conference this morning.
One of his top lieutenants, Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence agrees. “We hope [the Senate vote] falters so we can start over,” Pence told TPMDC yesterday. “I think the reason you’re not hearing talk about efforts to repeal the permanent bailout authority is because the bill hasn’t passed yet.”
The Senate is expected to pass the final bill and send it off to the President this afternoon. But, despite Republican posturing, the President’s signature isn’t likely to touch off another broad GOP push for repeal. Unlike health care reform, Wall Street reform is broadly popular — even with some in the GOP base. The problem for Republicans is that they’ve dug in deeply, railing against what they call a “permanent bailout bill.” It stands to reason that, if the bill truly does institutionalize bailouts, Republicans would want to repeal it. But some aren’t willing to say that too loudly.
After a vote this morning, TPMDC asked Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the third ranking Republican in the Senate, whether Republicans would make a concerted push to repeal the financial reform bill.
“Well, that’s a good — that’s a good, that’s a good question,” Alexander said. “We’re very disappointed with this…If we have a Congress with a majority of Republicans, and there are ways to improve it or fix it, I imagine there’ll be an effort to do that.”
Pence suggested much the same.
“I think that should this legislation become law, and I continue to hope earnestly that it does not, House Republicans will be determined to end this era of bailouts and dismantle the principles of too big to fail from the law,” Pence said.
What elements of the law would need to be dismantled?
“There’s several aspects of that, but I can break that down for you. Let’s jump off that bridge when we come to it,” Pence said.
“There are common sense things that we should do to plug the holes in the regulatory system that were there, and to bring more transparency to financial transactions,” Boehner said. “Because transparency is like sunlight, and sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.