Obama: GOP Consumer Protection Plan is "worse than the status quo"

Addressing today's Senate debate on Wall Street reform, President Obama accused Republicans of "partisan attempts to obstruct progress and weaken reform."

In a paper statement released this morning, Mr Obama praised the bill before the Senate for demanding accountability from Wall Street and for including the "strongest consumer protections ever."

But the tone of the statement changed quickly as the president slammed a GOP amendment being considered on the floor. The Republican proposal would create an agency within FDIC to approve regulations, while enforcement would be left to bank regulators. Mr Obama wrote such a proposal would "gut consumer protections and is worse than the status quo."  The president's Twitter site later echoed the criticism and urged Twitter followers to call their Republican senator.

In his paper statement Mr Obama continued, "I will not allow amendments like this one written by Wall Street's lobbyists to pass for reform." Mr Obama charges such a proposal would exempt payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial service operations from rules protecting consumers.

Democrats propose an independent consumer bureau within the Federal Reserve to write and enforce regulations.

The president wrote that while he wishes to continue working with both parties on financial regulation reform, "alternatives that gut consumer protections and do nothing to empower the American people by cracking down on unfair and predatory practices are unacceptable."

The White House announced Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin will join Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs at today's 2pm briefing, to discuss financil reform.