Could Republicans Really Repeal Financial Reform?

That's what some party leaders are promising

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Mere hours after Congress passed financial regulatory reform legislation, and with a few days still to go before President Obama even signs it into law, some Republicans are already calling for its repeal. House Minority Leader John Boehner was joined by other party leaders yesterday we he announced to reporters, "I think it ought to be repealed." Republicans had earlier pledged to repeal health care reform, saying they would vote out the legislation if they secured the sufficient majorities in Congress. Can they really do it? And what does this say about the party?

  • The GOP's Objections  The Wall Street Journal's Greg Hitt summarizes, "Broadly, the GOP has accused the Democratic majority of crafting legislation that is too heavyhanded and imposes steep costs on the economy."
  • Preview of 2010 Elections  The Guardian's Michael Tomasky predicts, "in this little set piece, we're seeing a preview of the midterm election argument. The Democrats are basically going to say, we're trying to do things to get the economy moving and to help working Americans, but the Republicans block everything. The Republicans are going to say yes, you're damn right we block everything, and thank God we do, because it's all Marxism."
  • Not Yet Campaigning on Repeal, But Will They?  Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler writes, "They're not campaigning on it in earnest -- at least not yet -- but Republican leaders say that, given the power, they would like to do away with Wall Street reform much like they have already discussed repealing health care reform. ... despite Republican posturing, the President's signature isn't likely to touch off another broad GOP push for repeal. Unlike health care reform, Wall Street reform is broadly popular -- even with some in the GOP base."
  • Push for Repeal Promises Little Political Gain  The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen sees the political incentives for calling for repeal of health care, but financial reform? "talking about repealing Wall Street reform is much dumber, since the effort is far more popular. Boehner & Co. consistently forget this, but Americans still tend to be pretty annoyed with the financial industry that nearly destroyed the global economic system, and which was bailed out by taxpayers. The available evidence suggests voters want the new reform measures, if only to help keep the industry that ran wild in check. ... It's nevertheless a message Republicans may not want to take to the public."
Boener’s call was backed on [Good Morning America] by Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate banking committee.

"We would like to repeal it," Shelby said.

“We have empowered a lot of the regulatory bodies that failed us before and the question is what have they learned,” he said. “And it is not going to create jobs which we desperately need, it is going to cost jobs. It is going to hurt the economy.”

Shelby sighted the lack of reform of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac as well as the formation of a consumer protection agency, calling it the creation “of one of the largest bureaucracies” in years.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.