UPDATE 1-Obama to hold bipartisan meeting on financial reform

* Obama seeks momentum on regulatory reform

* Meeting follows healthcare victory, nuclear summit

(adds quotes, background)

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, April 9 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama will
hold a meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats on
Wednesday to discuss proposals to overhaul financial regulation, a
White House official said on Friday.

“Enacting financial reform has been a goal of President
Obama’s since well before taking office, and he will discuss the
choice he sees in this debate — whether to stand with the
American people or stand on the side of the status quo,” the
official said.

Obama has made passage of financial regulatory reform
legislation a high priority after achieving his top domestic
policy goal of overhauling the U.S. healthcare system.

“We believe momentum is on the side of real reform for the
American people and consumers,” the official said, noting that the
president had called during his State of the Union address for
regular meetings with bipartisan members of Congress.

Obama proposed a series of changes to the rules that govern
the financial industry in mid-2009. The House of Representatives
approved most of them in December, but the Senate has yet to act,
with many Republicans and lobbyists for banks and Wall Street
fighting to block reforms.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a
Democrat, has said he hopes his bill on the matter will be debated
on the Senate floor later this month.

Dodd says his bill ends the idea that some financial firms are
‘too big to fail,’ creates a strong consumer protection watchdog
and addresses problems in the over-the-counter derivative markets,
credit rating agencies and debt securitization, among other

Obama held a bipartisan meeting on healthcare earlier this
year after an election in Massachusetts took away Democrats’
“supermajority” in the Senate, which was seen at the time as a
potentially deadly blow to the president’s signature issue.

The summit did not create bipartisan support for the bill,
which was passed later without a single Republican vote, but it
succeeded in bringing momentum back to Obama’s side.

The Wednesday meeting on financial regulation will follow a
major international summit on nuclear proliferation that Obama
will host in Washington at the beginning of the week.

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(Editing by Philip Barbara)

UPDATE 1-Obama to hold bipartisan meeting on financial reform