From Sunlen Miller:
President Obama said today that he is confident that a financial regulatory bill will be passed, despite the passing of Senator Robert Byrd.
“I’m confident that given the package that has been put together that senators hopefully on both sides of the aisle recognize we that it’s time we put in place rules that prevent taxpayer bailouts and make sure we don’t have the financial crisis that can take the economy. I think there’s going to be enough interest in moving reform forward that were doing to get this done.”
Mr. Obama gave no indication if the bill can be passed by week's end, as was the expectation.
The Senate was expected to vote this week, before the July 4th recess. But without Robert Byrd, or his replacement to fill his seat – Democrats may not have the votes to pass it. Mr. Obama was responding to a question by a reporter who asked if losing the late Senator’s vote would impact the final vote on the bill expected by week's end.
“I’m concerned about the fact that a giant of the Senate and a personal friend of mine passed away, I don’t think about that in the context of financial regulatory reform,” the president said. “When I think about Senator Byrd what I think about is somebody who during the course of an unparalleled career not only helped transform the institution of the senate but thought his own transformation, embodies the kind of changes in America that have made us more equal more just more fair and he will be sorely missed.”
President Obama met with Fed Chairman Bernanke as part of his Economic Daily Briefing with the president’s economic team. The president said that the chairman’s attendance is a “periodic discussion” to get his assessment on the economy.
“I think in our discussions we share the view that the economy is strengthening; that we are into recovery; that it's actually led by some interesting sectors like manufacturing that we haven't seen in quite some time,” Obama said, “But what we also agreed is that we've still got a lot of work to do.”
Coming out of the G20 meeting in Toronto this weekend, Mr. Obama said that unfortunately some economic troubles in Europe are affecting the US’s markets, “we’re now seeing some headwinds and some skittishness and nervousness on the part of the markets and on the part of business and investors. And so we're still going to have to work through that. “
As reporters were rushed into the Oval Office at the start of the photo spray Obama quipped ,“Careful there, don’t hurt any of my economists.”