Obama pushes for reform on financial industry - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Obama pushes for reform on financial industry

WASHINGTON (ABC)-- President Obama heads to New York City Thursday morning and the heart of the nation's financial industry.  Mr. Obama delivers remarks just blocks from Wall Street, making his case for more government oversight of big banks.

President Obama travels to New York Thursday where he will deliver remarks reminding Americans what's at stake in the push to reform the financial industry.  He will urge those on Wall Street to join him in the reform, rather than fight it.  And he will encourage lawmakers to pass the reform bill that protects consumers, ends the problem of "too big to fail" and brings transparency to the derivatives market.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in the Senate say they are close to a deal to pass the President's reform plan, with some key republicans in agreement. 

Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, says, "We're making more progress and we're more optimistic than I've ever been."

Senator Charles Grassley was the first Republican to back part of the plan, voting in committee for new regulations on derivatives, bets on whether an industry will succeed or fail, that some say were responsible for the financial meltdown.

Other lawmakers also see the possibility for bi-partisan cooperation.

Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican says, "I think this bill is potentially the beginning of us being able to function in an appropriate way in this body.

But not all Republicans are on board.  Some questioned whether the SEC probe of Goldman Sachs was timed to help boost the President's push for financial reform and there are those who say the bill could lead to future bailouts.  But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner dismissed that idea in an exclusive interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. 

Geithner says, "You can't run a system in which private investors or that are executives can take risk on the expectation the government is going to come in and protect them.  That's the recipe for disaster."

Online Reporter: Jill Courtney

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