Obama blasts GOP for plans to repeal Wall Street reform bill

President Obama hammered Republican lawmakers Saturday for suggesting that they might repeal the financial services reform bill if they gain control of Congress after the midterm elections.

In his weekly radio address, Obama said repealing the bill, which became law earlier this summer, would be "a terrible mistake." The legislation, according to the president, provides "a level playing field" for everyone who has a role in the financial sector, whether it is a big bank or just someone opening up a new credit card account.


"Despite the importance of this law — and despite the terrible economic dislocation caused by the failures in our financial system under the old rules — top Republicans in Congress are now beating the drum to repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections," Obama said. "I think that would be a terrible mistake. Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules — whether you’re a big bank, a small business owner, or a family looking to buy a house or open a credit card.

"And as we saw, without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy is put in jeopardy."

Along with the healthcare reform bill, several Republicans have called for repeal of the financial services reform bill. GOP leaders have said the legislation would give the federal government permanent bailout authority, using taxpayer funds, for companies at risk of going bankrupt.

But in his address, Obama said repealing the bill would remove key protections for the middle class. He said the creation of a consumer financial protection agency will help protect taxpayers as well as banks from abuses of the financial system.

"That doesn’t serve Main Street. That doesn’t serve Wall Street. That doesn’t serve anyone. And that’s why I think it’s so important that we not take this country backward — that we don’t go back to the broken system we had before. We’ve got to keep moving forward," Obama said.