Obama Addresses Financial Reform, GOP Hits on Climate Change

Posted December 12, 2009 at 5:38am

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama on Saturday sought to galvanize popular backing for financial reform, warning that special interests are plotting to sink the measure. But in the Republican address, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) focused on climate change legislation, suggesting that a House-passed measure would wreck the economy.

“Just last week, Republican leaders in the House summoned more than 100 key lobbyists for the financial industry to a ‘pep rally,’ and urged them to redouble their efforts to block meaningful financial reform,— Obama said. “Not that they needed the encouragement. These industry lobbyists have already spent more than $300 million on lobbying the debate this year.—

The president charged that much of the financial crisis of the past year was the result of “the irresponsibility of large financial institutions on Wall Street— and that these firms need the type of regulation that has passed the House Friday and is pending in the Senate.

“These are common sense reforms that respond to the obvious problems exposed by the financial crisis,— Obama said. “But, as we’ve learned so many times before, common sense doesn’t always prevail in Washington.—

Obama urged the House and Senate to finish the legislation quickly.

“I urge both houses to act as quickly as possible to pass real reform that restores free and fair markets in which recklessness and greed are thwarted and hard work, responsibility, and competition are rewarded — reform that works for businesses, investors, and consumers alike,— He said.In the GOP response, Blackburn went after climate change legislation.

“Washington Democrats want to impose a cap-and-trade national energy tax, a bureaucratic nightmare that would make households, small businesses and family farms pay higher prices for electricity, gasoline, food and virtually every product made in America,— she said.

Blackburn said she and other GOP lawmakers will travel to Copenhagen next week to attend the United Nations climate change summit.

“If President Obama has his way, the Copenhagen conference will produce mandatory emissions limits that would destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come,— she said.

Blackburn charged that since the legislation did not pass Congress by the time of the Copenhagen meeting, the EPA promulgated new rules designed to achieve similar goals.

She said she had introduced legislation that would “stop the EPA.—