Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R., Ga.) and Senate Republicans say that potentially fruitful bipartisan negotiations on derivatives reform have completely broken down under pressure from the White House:
Republicans say [Sen. Blanche] Lincoln [D., Ark.] and Chambliss were on the cusp of a deal when the White House pulled her back.
Chambliss said Lincoln has been very forthright with him throughout their talks. But he concurred with his colleagues that the White House forced her to back out.
Senate Republicans have gone so far as to accuse President Obama of “forcing Senate Democrats to shut down the financial regulatory reform negotiations, saying Democrats would prefer a bill that passes with minimal GOP support so that they have a political issue to take into the November elections.”
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) said that two weeks ago he was “ready to uncork the Champagne” to celebrate a bipartisan financial regulatory overhaul. Johanns said on all of the key issues — addressing “too big to fail,” derivatives, resolution authority and systemic risk — Senators were heading in the right direction.
“Then all of a sudden, four or five days ago, this thing just blows up,” Johanns said. “I can’t help but believe that what the White House has done is ramped up the pressure on its Members. And if they would just back off, we’ll get a bill. So, it really is frustrating to me. I still believe we can get a bill.”
From Roll Call via Senatus.