Senate Republicans Say Some Big Banks Should Close

By Philip Elliott | March 9, 2009 | 7:38 AM EDT

In this photo provided by ABC News, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) talks with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week on Sunday, April 20, 2008. (AP Photo/ABC News, Fred Watkins)

Washington (AP) - Leading Senate Republicans are critical of the Obama administration's approach to the banking crisis, saying some of the big banks in trouble ought to be shut down.
"Close them down, get them out of business. If they're dead, they ought to be buried," Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "We bury the small banks; we've got to bury some big ones and send a strong message to the market. And I believe that people will start investing in banks."
The faltering giant Citibank -- the government recently increased its stake in the New York bank to more than 30 percent -- has always been "a problem child," Shelby said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said administration officials have erred in not dealing more specifically -- and harshly -- with banks and the lending crisis.
"I don't think they've made the tough decisions. Some of these banks have to fail," McCain said on "Fox News Sunday."
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has chosen three more people to join the senior ranks of the Treasury Department.
The White House on Sunday said Obama is nominating David S. Cohen to be assistant secretary in dealing with terrorist financing; Alan B. Krueger for assistant secretary for economic policy; and Kim N. Wallace as assistant secretary for legislative affairs.
Each nominee is already serving as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. All three are now subject to Senate confirmation.
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