Obama asks Congress to take financial reform over the 'finish line'

President Barack Obama lauded lawmakers for fighting Wall Street lobbyists and taking financial reform legislation to the "verge of victory."

Obama, in his weekly radio address, said that Congress gave him "90 percent" of what he asked for when it finished a conference committee deal early Friday morning.

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The president, who is attending the G-8 and G-20 summits in Canada this weekend, said the new legislation, which he hopes to sign by July Fourth, will give consumers new protections and help prevent another financial meltdown.

But Obama blasted Wall Street efforts to defeat the measure.

"Getting this far on Wall Street reform hasn’t been easy," Obama said. "There are those who’ve fought tooth and nail to preserve the status quo. In recent months, they’ve spent millions of dollars and hired an army of lobbyists to stop reform dead in its tracks."

But, the president said, "because we refused to back down, and kept fighting, we now stand on the verge of victory."

"And I urge Congress to take us over the finish line, and send me a reform bill I can sign into law, so we can empower our people with consumer protections, and help prevent a financial crisis like this from ever happening again," Obama said.


The president lauded the various provisions Congress agreed to to reform Wall Street.

The deal worked out by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Banking Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) gives Obama another legislative victory following healthcare reform earlier this year.

But Obama also pressed Congress to act on some "unfinished business" on financial reform.

"We need to impose a fee on the banks that were the biggest beneficiaries of taxpayer assistance at the height of our financial crisis – so we can recover every dime of taxpayer money," Obama said.