Geithner confident Republicans will come around on financial reform

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday said he is "very confident Republicans will vote for" Senate Democrats' financial regulatory reform bill.

When asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" which chamber Republicans, in particular, might cross the aisle and side with their Democratic counterparts, Geithner stayed mum, noting host David Gregory should ask them.

But he did note he had spent "a lot of time" with Republicans, explaining "that's why I'm so confident" of their eventual support.


Senate Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads over Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd's (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill, mostly because of its proposed liquidation fund. That pot of money, paid into exclusively by banks, would help ensure the orderly end to firms whose collapse could endanger the economy writ large.

Republicans have long excoriated that fund, and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) earlier this week described it as a backdoor for a taxpayer bailout. But Geithner deflected that criticism on Sunday, noting the fund would actually "make sure the taxpayer is not exposed to a penny of loss."

"It's absolutely not true," Geithner said of McConnell's comments, "and some of his members say it was over the top."

"I've spent a lot of time with Republicans," he added, "and I believe we are very close to this..."