A key Republican senator said Monday that Democrats are overreacting to civil charges filed against banking giant Goldman Sachs by using them to push a major financial regulatory overhaul.
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, warned members on the other side of the aisle from using the charges for political purposes, saying that it's foolish to trump up the allegations that have not yet been tried in court.
"It's really disingenuous for some people to pursue regulatory reform based off this one instance," he said on MSNBC. "This is a single event, we don't even know what the outcome will be."
Democrats and Republicans have been trying to take advantage of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges against Goldman, which say that it created and sold a financial product that was essentially designed to fail.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Monday morning that the Goldman charges improve the chances for passing the legislation, which so far no Republicans support.
While Democrats have painted the incident as a case of Wall Street fraud and excess, Republicans have jumped on campaign contributions given to many top Democrats by John Paulson, a hedge fund manager not named in the suit but who is believed to have worked with Goldman to create the financial product.
"We should not legislate based on anecdotal events," Gregg said. "This is a big piece of legislation, we shouldn't overreact."
The reform bill, one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities, is awaiting passage by the Senate. Should it pass, the bill would have to be merged with the House's version approved last year, then it would have passed again by both houses before Obama can sign it.
Gregg has voiced his opposition to the bill, but has been named as a GOPer who could cross the aisle and back the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could bring the bill to the floor this week, but Gregg echoed Republican calls to push the bill back and continue bipartisan negotiations.