After a tense meeting on financial reform with GOP leaders yesterday, Barack Obama put on his Michael Corleone face and told them his final offer was this: nothing. The president made it clear that he wouldn’t accept any compromise that would weaken the legislation, and essentially dared Republicans to vote against it, Politico reports. Harry Reid is even prepared to bring the Banking Committee’s bill to the floor without major concessions.
Democrats are betting that financial reform is such a popular cause that at least one, and probably several Republicans will jump across the aisle to vote for it. Polls back them up: the public overwhelmingly backs the Democrats in a way it didn’t for health care. “It’s been two and a half years since this crisis started,” says Tim Geithner. “I think we know what we need to know. It’s just time to decide.” (Read more financial reform stories.)