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Durbin rips Republicans, Wall Street for spending bill provision

While lawmakers face a midnight Thursday deadline to prevent another government shutdown, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, slammed Republicans and Wall Street for a provision in the spending bill that would roll back a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

During an appearance Thursday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Durbin said Wall Street has parked itself “under the misletoe.”

“It is amazing to me that we worked so long on a spending bill to keep government open and now the Wall Street banks have parked themselves under the mistletoe and said, ‘Before anyone can make a move, we’ve got to get special treatment,’” Durbin said. “This is a special consideration they want so they can gamble with swaps and any of their lossses will be covered by taxpayers of America.

“Sound familiar?” Durbin asked.

The provision significantly weakens new regulations that require banks to set up separate affiliates to deal in the more exotic and riskier forms of complex financial instruments called swaps. Bringing swaps trading back into the banks would expose taxpayers to greater risk of a repeat of the 2008 bank bailout.

Durbin said it’s an “odious provision that should not be included” and Speaker John Boehner “can take it out in the bat of an eye.”

Contributing: Associated Press