President Barack Obama said Saturday Republican threats to repeal a sweeping law strengthening government oversight of Wall Street banking and investment practices would be a "terrible mistake," taking the country backward "to the broken system we had before."
Obama cited boasts by Republican leaders, including U.S. House chief John Boehner
, that, in the president's words, they will "repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections" if they win majorities in the House and Senate next month. "Without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy is put in jeopardy," he said in his weekly address
The new law, enacted in July over broad Republican opposition, establishes new consumer protections, limits bank overdraft fees, and cracks down deceptive mortgages and certain exotic trading practices. Addressing voter anger over the earlier government bail out of failing banks and insurance companies, the president said new rules in the reform laws assured that "taxpayers would never again be on the hook ... if a big financial company went under."
Obama was on the campaign trail in Minnesota Saturday, but his speech was recorded earlier and posted on the Internet. He could veto any repeal legislation sent to him by Congress. Watch the speech here.
Republicans, in weekly remarks
, ignored Wall regulation, but criticized Obama's economic stimulus bill, the health care law and Democratic reluctance to extend Bush-era tax cuts to all taxpayers. "We have learned lessons not only of what hasn't worked over the past two years, but what didn't work the last time Republicans controlled Congress," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) "We are determined to take this country in the right direction."