Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference with House Democratic leaders on the need to providing funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“When crisis struck our financial system in 2008, it wasn’t because there was too much regulation. For years, the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress took the referees off the field when it came to Wall Street.
“Thanks to the reform legislation we passed last Congress, which was led by the Ranking Member – at that time Chairman – Barney Frank, we gave the SEC and CFTC the tools they need to prevent another crisis requiring a taxpayer bailout.
“The appropriations bills released this week to fund these agencies would hinder this work. By funding both agencies below the President’s requested levels – and the CFTC below the 2012 level – Republicans are trying to hamstring the sensible regulation of Wall Street banks and of our commodities trading.
“They want to bring us back to the days of under-regulated financial markets and the conditions that led to the Wall Street bailout. They want to make it easier for speculators to drive up the price of oil, which will mean Americans paying more at the pump.
“Former CFTC Chairwoman Brooksley Born, who is here with us today, warned us in the 1990’s that a crisis was brewing because of insufficient oversight. She’s here today to warn us again that, if we erode the SEC and CFTC’S ability to do their jobs, we’ll find ourselves right back where we were in 2008.
“Let’s not allow that to happen. Let’s not risk another Wall Street bailout. Let’s not let gas prices rise for working families because the CFTC can’t do its job.
“I am calling on Republicans to let these agencies carry on their important work. They’re already being asked to do more with less. The savings Republicans claim to be reaping from these cuts are miniscule compared to the damage they will cause to our economy.
“Let’s give the SEC and CFTC watchdogs the tools they need to prevent market manipulation and prevent another bailout.”