President Obama issued his most direct threat to veto the Republican budget while speaking in Birmingham, AL today. The President warned Congressional Republicans that he would veto any bill that unravels Wall Street reform.
The President discussed how the CFPB is cracking down on payday lenders, and then dropped his veto threat on Republicans.
The President said:
This is just one more way that Wall Street reform, what we passed five years ago, is protecting working families and taxpayers, and that strengthens the economy, and that’s one more why it makes no sense that the Republican budget would make it harder for the CFPB to do its job. And would allow Wall Street to go back to the kind of recklessness that led to the crisis in the first place, and would allow these kinds of lenders who are not doing the right thing to keep at it.
I have to be clear. If Republicans in Congress send me a bill that unravels the reforms we put in place, if they send me a bill that unravels Wall Street reform, I will veto it.
This is not about politics. It’s is about basic values of honesty and fair play. It’s about the basic bargain that says here in America hard work should pay off and responsibility should be rewarded.
Republicans are trying to gut the CFPB and Wall Street reform through their budget. Congressional Republicans are trying to strip the CFPB of its regulatory power, and hand that oversight over to the Republicans in Congress. This was the most direct statement yet that the President is considering vetoing the Republican budget.
There are numerous reasons why President Obama could, and some would argue, should veto the budget. However, Obama went a step beyond the budget. He said that if Republicans send him a bill, which could mean any bill, which unravels Wall Street reform, he will veto it. Senate Democrats will have the President’s back by sustaining any Obama veto of a bill, budget or otherwise, that targets Wall Street reform.
The last card that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner had left to play was the budget. If Congressional Republicans can’t get their agenda enacted through the budgetary process, they will be left with a choice of moving to the middle or passing nothing.
President Obama made it clear in Birmingham that Congressional Republicans aren’t going to get their way.