Reid ramps up pressure on McConnell, Cornyn over meeting with execs

Senate Democrats ramped up pressure on the GOP over financial reform, demanding top GOP senators elaborate on meetings they had with Wall Street executives.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Cornyn of conducting "backroom negotiations" with business leaders when they met with executives from banks and other business groups in New York earlier this month.

"Senators McConnell and Cornyn should immediately reveal what they discussed earlier this month during secret, closed-door meeting with Wall Street executives in New York City," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Monday.

McConnell and Cornyn have acknowledged meeting with the business leaders, but have not elaborated on the conversations that took place during the meeting.

"Well, look, we were talking about financial regulation, as everybody in the country is talking about it," McConnell explained Sunday during an appearance on CNN.

"It doesn't mean that we can't discuss issues with people that we meet around the country who are deeply involved and concerned about what we are doing," McConnell later added of his and Cornyn's meeting.

Democrats pounced on McConnell's answer, saying that the top Senate Republican should be more forthcoming.

"Since Republicans appear to be conducting backroom negotiations with these same people who took our economy to the brink of collapse, the public deserves to know what secret deals and carve-outs Republicans are offering Wall Street executives in exchange for their support," Manley shot back.

A spokesman for McConnell did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.