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Obama Pushes Financial Reform; Ryan Attacks Lack of Budget

President Barack Obama called on Congress to quickly complete work on financial regulatory legislation Saturday, even as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) continued the GOP’s attacks on Democrats’ inability to pass a budget this year.

In his weekly radio address, Obama blamed the current economic problems on a lack of adequate Wall Street regulations and pointed to the financial reform bill as a key to avoiding further problems.

“We’re still digging ourselves out of an economic crisis that happened largely because there wasn’t strong enough oversight on Wall Street. We can’t build a strong economy in America over the long run without ending this status quo and laying a new foundation for growth and prosperity,” Obama said.

Avoiding the direct attacks on Republicans that have become a hallmark of his radio addresses in recent weeks, Obama did take a shot at Wall Street, noting that, “Getting this far on Wall Street reform hasn’t been easy. There are those who’ve fought tooth and nail to preserve the status quo. In recent months, they’ve spent millions of dollars and hired an army of lobbyists to stop reform dead in its tracks.”

“But because we refused to back down, and kept fighting, we now stand on the verge of victory. And I urge Congress to take us over the finish line and send me a reform bill I can sign into law, so we can empower our people with consumer protections and help prevent a financial crisis like this from ever happening again,” he added.

In the Republican response, Ryan remained focused on the issues of debt, the budget and federal spending, all of which his party has successfully used to cause Democrats political pain over the past several months.

Noting that House Democrats earlier this month conceded they would not pass a budget resolution — but have continued to pursue spending initiatives — Ryan called the Democratic approach a “recipe for disaster.”

“Democrats are offering no budget, no priorities and no restraints — yet all their taxing, borrowing and spending continues unchecked,” Ryan said, attributing the decision to not pass a budget to political considerations.

“Democrats say their decision is about what’s best for the future of our country. It’s not. With the political season upon us, Democratic leaders believe it’s better to take a pass than to pass a budget. While Americans ask ‘where are the jobs?’ Democrats seem content to simply run out the clock and let their borrowing binge continue to drain resources from our economy,” he said.

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