McConnell wants to go ‘back to the drawing board’

MCCONNELL WANTS TO GO ‘BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD’…. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) flew to New York two weeks ago for a private, behind-closed-doors meeting with hedge fund managers, bankers, and other Wall Street elites. It was after this meeting — where McConnell reportedly sought campaign contributions — that the Republican Senate leader returned to D.C. determined to kill the legislation that would bring some accountability to the same industry whose recklessness nearly destroyed the global financial system.

McConnell was asked on CNN this morning what, specifically, was said at the gathering about the Wall Street reform bill. The conservative Kentuckian was evasive — imagine that — and instead of answering the questions, he talked about scrapping the legislation altogether.

“We ought to go back to the drawing board and fix it.”

It’s like deja vu all over again — Democrats tackle a pressing national issue, negotiate with Republicans in good faith, craft a reasonable, middle-of-the-road legislative package that deserves bipartisan support, lobbyists tell Republicans to kill it, and McConnell voices his support for killing the legislation and going “back to the drawing board.”

Is it me or does this sound familiar?

McConnell’s principal (but not principled) concern is over the legislation’s liquidation fund, which would impose a fee on large financial institutions, collecting money that would be used to cover the costs of closing firms that fail. McConnell, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, has characterized this provision as “institutionalizing bailouts.”

Fine, the Obama administration said. If it will help create bipartisan support for the bill, and end talk of a Republican filibuster, the provision on the liquidation fund can be scuttled. So, problem solved? Hardly.

[W]hen asked if he would support the bill if Democrats removed that fund, McConnell told CNN’s “State of the Union” he would still have other issues with the legislation, though he did not say what those qualms were.

Again, we’ve seen these genuinely stupid tactics before.

“Republicans can’t support the reasonable legislation Democrats want because it has a provision we’re pretending not to like.”

“Fine, we’ll get rid of the provision.”

“Republicans still can’t support the legislation, and we don’t want to tell you why.”

I know Republicans want to be taken seriously on public policy, but I can’t figure out why anyone would.