By Sam Youngman - 07/21/10 04:28 PM EDT
President Obama on Wednesday signed the Wall Street reform bill, putting another major item on his domestic agenda into law.
Obama, flanked by congressional leaders including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), noted the bill’s supporters had to “overcome the furious lobbying of an array of powerful interest groups and a partisan minority determined to block change.”
“All told, these reforms represent the strongest consumer financial protections in history,” Obama said. “And these protections will be enforced by a new consumer watchdog with just one job: looking out for people — not big banks, not lenders, not investment houses — in the financial system.”
Others attending the ceremony included Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGrassley accuses Reid of 'pure unfiltered partisanship' Top Dem: Cures bill funding cut to B Yes, this election will change America forever MORE; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidGrassley accuses Reid of 'pure unfiltered partisanship' Overnight Finance: Senate, House strike deal on Flint | Shutdown averted | Yellen defends Fed from Trump Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq MORE (D-Nev.); Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonBank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform MORE (D-S.D.) and Jack ReedJack ReedDemocrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas MORE (D-R.I.); House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.); and Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Mel Watt (D-N.C.), Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezThe Hill's 12:30 Report Election watchdog scrutinizing Florida Dem Senate candidate Juan Williams: Dems should not take Latinos for granted MORE (D-Ill.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kan.).
The new law gives Obama and Democrats a victory for the summer work period that they hope will allow members to campaign as tireless advocates for the working class, while at the same time painting Republicans as water-carriers for Wall Street fat cats.
While the emphasis of Obama’s remarks was on consumer protection, he also pledged that reform “will also rein in the abuse and excess that nearly brought own our financial system.”
“It will finally bring transparency to the kinds of complex, risky transactions that helped trigger the financial crisis” Obama said. “And shareholders will also have a greater say on the pay of CEOs and other executives, so that they can reward success instead of failure.”
Republicans blasted the new law, saying it would kill jobs and do nothing to prevent another financial crisis that they said was caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“While President Obama pats himself on the back today, families and small businesses are bracing for yet another big-government overreach that will make it harder to create new jobs,” said House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio).
“The legislation the president is signing today provides permanent bailouts for his Wall Street allies at the expense of community banks and small businesses around the country, while doing nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage companies that triggered the financial meltdown by giving too many high-risk loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
“It’s no wonder that the overwhelming majority of Americans say the president’s plan won’t work.”