WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says Democrats have chosen to ignore small business opposition in their push to enact sweeping financial reform.
"This week, Republicans stood with America's small business owners and offered a rational alternative that strengthens consumer protection without burdening Main Street with unnecessary regulation," Shelby said in the Republican Party's response to President Barack Obama's regular Saturday radio and Internet address.
Shelby, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, proposed an amendment to pull back consumer protections in the bill.
"The Democrats chose, once again, to ignore the American people and unanimously rejected our amendment," he said. Shelby also criticized the legislation not addressing debt problems at the government-sponsored housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"In the days to come, Republicans will be demanding that financial reform include Frannie and Freddie," he said.
The Senate is scheduled to take up more amendments to the bill next week and hopes to finish it by week's end.