By Peter Schroeder - 01/11/12 06:44 PM EST
While any final agreement remains weeks away, liberals are already crying foul on what they contend is “a sweetheart settlement” that allows those institutions to escape a broader inquiry into their actions leading up to the financial crisis.
“If Wall Street gets investigated for the misdeeds that led to our financial collapse, they’re very worried about what we’ll find,” Feingold wrote.
When Obama circumvented Senate GOP opposition by recess-appointing Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he was hailed by liberals who long wanted to see him take a stand for the agency.
In making the appointment, the president said he had “an obligation” to use his unilateral powers when Congress fails to act. But now, left-leaning groups are using that same argument to push Obama to get tough on the financial sector.
“This is something the president can do on his own right now, without fighting Congress,” MoveOn wrote on its page soliciting signatures.
Feingold added: “It’s the president’s choice: He has the power to order this investigation today.”
The push also comes as the practices of powerful financial institutions have faced rejuvenated scrutiny as Mitt Romney fights for the GOP presidential nomination. Republican rivals on the campaign trail have hammered Romney over his time heading Bain Capital, a private-equity firm that took over ailing businesses in an effort to reap profits from them. Candidates including Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have argued that Romney got rich by laying off workers at the Bain-controlled companies, which in turn has lead to counter-criticism from other conservative outlets such as the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal and Rush Limbaugh.
As Republicans battle over Bain, Democrats have been eager to get into the mix. The Democratic National Committee hosted a press call Monday with an ex-employee of a company once taken over by Bain.