From NBC's Ken Strickland, Sarah Blackwill, and Mark Murray
Since the financial regulatory debate began, Democratic leaders have accused Republicans of misrepresenting the facts about their bill. But in a news conference today, Senate Democratic leaders turned up the heat with a video presentation of Republican "lies" and alleged mischaracterizations.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer played clips showing Republican statements and speeches about the reform bill. One clip featured Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that "this bill not only allows for taxpayer bailouts; it institutionalizes them."
Responded Durbin: "So if you listen to this comment by the minority leader of the United States Senate, you wonder if he's read the bill -- particularly if he's read the section between pages 110 and 295, which is entitled orderly liquidation authority. Liquidation. Liquidation is the end of the bank, not a bailout that it can continue in business."
Durbin continued, "No matter how many times the minority leader says endless bailout, the fact is the clear language of this legislation says just the opposite. What he's reading to us is not from the bill. It's from a memo prepared by [GOP pollster] Frank Luntz, prepared even before this bill was written."
Reid added: "The Republican leadership has so far decided to be against reform, to in effect kill reform. They're betting on failure again. They decided the best way to stop us from cleaning up Wall Street is by polluting the debate with myths and mischaracterizations."
And Schumer said: "On the health-care bill, we allowed too many lies to get out there without rebuttal, because we thought they were so obviously untrue. But we've learned our lesson. And the minute these things come out of the mouths of some of our Republican colleagues, we rebut them. And we rebut them again and again. And fortunately, these lies are not taking hold.