For now, Senate Republicans are standing united against Wall Street reform, demanding more negotiations. Democrats should be leery of that tactic since it’s the same one the GOP used on health care reform.
Did Republicans use the delay on health care to negotiate in good faith? Nope. Instead, they used it to whip up opposition to the measures.
Democrats should push ahead with stricter oversight on financial firms. They have the momentum on this issue:
But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority – 52 percent – of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.
In the poll, most Democrats back each of the three major elements of the reform legislation and most Republicans oppose them, echoing the congressional showdown expected this week.
The area with the highest levels of cross-party support is on more robust federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies make consumer loans, such as auto loans, credit cards and mortgages. Here, 44 percent of Republicans approve of stricter guidelines, joining 75 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents on the issue.
In this poll, support for new federal regulation was about the same for “banks and other financial institutions” as for “Wall Street firms.” A recent Gallup poll taken before Obama took his case for reform to New York last week showed somewhat greater support for new laws aimed at Wall Street, suggesting the phrase had become a pejorative.