Obama blasts Republican plans to repeal Wall Street reform


WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday blasted Republican plans to repeal a Wall Street reform law passed by Congress earlier this year, saying it would be a “terrible mistake.”

“I think that would be a terrible mistake,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

“Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules — whether you’re a big bank, a small business owner, or a family looking to buy a house or open a credit card,” he added.

The measure, signed by the president into law in July, gives the government new sweeping regulatory powers designed to stave off major financial crises in the future.

It grants regulators new powers to take down failing giant financial firms, creates new consumer protection rules requiring more disclosure and fewer hidden fees for mortgages and credit cards. The law also calls for setting up a new consumer financial protection agency.

Obama said that special interests fought hard against reform when it was being debated in Congress, and now the Republican leadership is calling for repealing this law. However, he warned that without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy will be jeopardy. “That doesn’t serve Main Street. That doesn’t serve Wall Street. That doesn’t serve anyone,” the president declared. “And that’s why I think it’s so important that we not take this country backward — that we don’t go back to the broken system we had before. We’ve got to keep moving forward.”