Once Again, Republicans Hobnob With Wall Street Executives

April 13, 2010 12:13 pm ET — Chris Harris

Wall Street

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Republicans were "stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street. In discussions with Wall Street executives, Republicans are striving to make the case that they are banks' best hope of preventing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street."

Two months later, it seems the GOP is relying on the same strategy.  In return for obstructing Democratic legislation to hold Wall Street CEOs accountable, Republican lawmakers are pressing bankers for financial help heading into the November elections.

As FoxBusiness.com reported:

About 25 Wall Street executives, many of them hedge fund managers, sat down for a private meeting Thursday afternoon with two of the most powerful Republican lawmakers in Congress: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and John Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, one of the primary fundraising arms of the Republican Party.

The stated topic of the meeting: The Financial reform bill being sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd, the Democrat and chairman of the senate banking committee. Both McConnell and Cornyn listened to numerous complaints the executives have with the bill.


They also said that they have a shot at taking control of the House by adding 40 additional seats to their current total. In New York State alone, the senators predicted a six-seat pickup.

But in order to assure those gains, and add even more, McConnell and Cornyn made it clear they need Wall Street's help. "There was no arm twisting but they did say that we should feel uncomfortable living in any country where one party has unfettered ability to pass anything including health care and anything else President Obama dreams up," said another executive who was present.

Republicans are brazenly playing politics by putting the needs of big banks and credit card companies above struggling American families.  Now is the time to hold Wall Street accountable for causing the greatest economic recession in a generation.

True financial regulatory reform would restore fairness to America's banking system, get rid of confusing fine print, and hold Wall Street's bad actors accountable for getting us into this mess.