WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage today praised the House Financial Services Committee for taking steps to protect consumers from predatory financial practices by approving the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In praising the legislation, Borosage noted that the bill should be strengthened as it moves through Congress to prevent another economic crisis.
Although the legislation has far to go, the committee created a much-needed independent agency to protect consumers from predatory lending and deceptive practices. Now the House and Senate must strengthen and pass the bill.
Chairman Frank should be complimented for fending off a fierce effort against the legislation by the big banking lobby. They couldn’t kill it, but they did weaken it significantly.
The Committee limited enforcement authority for 98 percent of the nation’s banks, which control 20 percent of assets; exempted auto loan and insurance products; and omitted provisions to enforce important community lending standards. Most damaging, it replaced President Obama’s proposed independent oversight board with an advisory committee of financial regulators who failed to protect the American public from Wall Street in the first place.
The House bill is a good first step. It should be strengthened on the floor of the House. It will take a major mobilization to protect it against obstruction in the Senate.