President Barack Obama is urging the U.S. Senate to pass his financial reform legislation.  The president says the bill will protect consumers, banks and the financial system.

In his weekly address, President Obama says the reform bill is an ambitious effort to protect consumers from some of the financial industry's worst abuses.

"The Wall Street reform bill in Congress represents the strongest consumer financial protections in history," said President Obama.

Senators have been debating legislation to protect consumers and end government bailouts of part of the nation's economy.

Mr. Obama says the bill is aimed at the industry practices that set off the U.S. financial crisis in 2008.

"With reform, we will make our financial system more transparent by bringing the kinds of complex backroom deals that helped trigger this crisis into the light of day," he added.

The president says the bill will subject large and small banks to tougher oversight, and prevent banks from taking so much risk they could collapse and threaten the economy.

The House of Representatives passed a similar reform bill in December.  

The weekly Republican Party address comes from Congressman Chris Lee, who represents the area near Buffalo, New York, which President Obama visited on Thursday.

Lee says the president is ignoring the people's wishes for less government debt and more responsible budgets.

"President Obama visited our area this week, and it was my hope that he would listen, really listen, to what the people are saying,? said Lee.  ?I have been in Congress 16 months, but it does not take that long to figure out that Washington does more talking than listening."

Representative Lee says the Democratic Party's plans to stimulate employment are too expensive and will hurt the economy in the long term.