Video: Wall Street reform plans put to the test

  1. Closed captioning of: Wall Street reform plans put to the test

    >> nbc news, iceland .

    >>> we change topics and turn to the u.s. financial system . in the headlines all weekend and there's more to come on it this week. after the s.e.c. 's fraud charges against goldman sachs late last week, president obama is starting an aggressive new push for financial reform . our white house correspondent savannah guthrie with more.

    >> reporter: this week brings a key test for the president and plans to reform wall street . once again in the senate all republicans are lined up in opposition. gearing up for his next big battle, the president will travel to new york city thursday to pitch financial reform in the shadow of wall street . but today the white house spokesman denied the government 's fraud case against financial giant goldman sachs was timed to provide political advantage.

    >> the s.e.c. is, by law, an independent agency . what it does, it does not coordinate with the white house .

    >> reporter: still democrats seized on the news. a google search of the terms s.e.c. and goldman sachs yields a paid advertisement for and republicans have their reform plan in uniform opposition.

    >> this comes down to a basic question, whose side are you on.

    >> reporter: the democrats ' proposal would create a new consumer protection agency, require government scrutiny of complex financial transactions and require big firms to have more capital on hand and less debt. republicans have argued a $50 billion fund to be used in case large funds fail amounts to a bailout .

    >> the very existence of this fund would perpetuate the risky behavior that led to the last crisis .

    >> reporter: democrats point out the fund is paid for by the banks themselves. in his weekly address the president slammed the political leader.

    >> he made the cynical and deceptive statement that it would help bailouts.

    >> reporter: americans are expressing disgust with government . in a pugh poll 22% said they trust washington .

    >> this is a public that is worried about what big government and big corporations are doing and who they are doing it to and who they're doing it for.

    >> reporter: well, another note, that poll found americans mostly feel the government regulates free enterprise too much. there was one big exception. they would like to see more regulation of wall street , brian .

    >> savannah guthrie at the white house , thanks.

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