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Shelby Tells ThinkProgress: ‘I Basically Agree’ With Boehner’s Metaphor That Financial Crisis Is Like An ‘Ant’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 30th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Shelby Tells ThinkProgress: ‘I Basically Agree’ With Boehner’s Metaphor That Financial Crisis Is Like An ‘Ant’
This morning, multiple media outlets including ThinkProgress noted comments made by Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in which he told the editorial board that financial reform is like “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.” In his criticism of the scope of banking reform, Boehner appeared to be minimizing the […]

This morning, multiple media outlets including ThinkProgress noted comments made by Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in which he told the editorial board that financial reform is like “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.” In his criticism of the scope of banking reform, Boehner appeared to be minimizing the financial crisis, which caused America to lose over 8 million jobs.

This morning, ThinkProgress caught up with Senate Banking Committee ranking member and financial conference member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) outside of a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R-CA). Asked what he thought about Boehner’s metaphor for the financial crisis and the bill to fix it, Shelby said, “I basically agree with that”:

TP: This morning, it was reported that Minority Leader John Boehner said that financial reform is too broad, it’s basically like using a nuclear weapon on an ant. Do you agree with that kind of sentiment?

SHELBY: Well, I basically agree with that. I voted against it. We could have had a meaningful, substantive bill. There a few good things in it, but it’s a broad reach of power, and you got to ask a question, the real question, ‘are we going to be better off because of this legislation?’ And that’s problematic.

Watch it:

For months, bankers and their lobbyists have coaxed Republicans in both the House and the Senate to fight reform for their industry. At the outset of the legislative process, Shelby told a group of bankers that they could help kill reform if each of them gives $10,000 to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is running for Senate. The fundraiser Shelby attended today for Fiorina was hosted by bank lobbyists, including Charlie Black, who is representing a trade group for financial firms, and Dan Meyer, a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.

Senate Republicans block measure to provide additional benefits to homeless veterans.
Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) brought her bill — the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Act — to the Senate floor seeking unanimous consent. Murray said the bill would “expand assistance for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children and would increase funding and extend federal grant programs to address […]

Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) brought her bill — the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Act — to the Senate floor seeking unanimous consent. Murray said the bill would “expand assistance for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children and would increase funding and extend federal grant programs to address the unique challenges faced by these veterans.” However, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected on behalf of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to this seemingly non-controversial issue:

McCONNELL: Madam president, reserving the right to object and I will have to object on behalf of my colleague Sen. Coburn from Oklahoma. He has concerns about this legislation, particularly as he indicates in a letter that I’ll ask the Senate to appear on the record that it be paid for up front so that the promises that makes the Veterans are in fact kept. So madam president I object.

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This is pretty low, even for Republicans,” the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen said. While Murray pledged to continue to fight for the bill’s passage, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) spokesperson said “Republicans have their priorities backwards — according to them, it’s OK to give tax breaks to CEOs who send American jobs overseas, but not to help out-of-work Americans and homeless veteran.”

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