Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday attempted to reassure Republican lawmakers who worry that tough new regulations in this country will put U.S. banks at a disadvantage and that taxpayers will need to bail out struggling European nations.

GOP lawmakers have said that heavy new regulations for U.S. banks — highlighted by the Dodd-Frank Act — could benefit banks in countries with lighter regulation. Another fear is the potential for European debt issues to have spillover effects on U.S. banks and taxpayers.

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