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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today against the Republican “Wrong Choice” Act, which would repeal consumer protections put in place after the financial crisis. Below is a video and a transcript of his remarks:
Click here to watch a video of his remarks.
“I thank the gentlelady for yielding. I rise in opposition to this legislation, which I know does not surprise the Chairman.
“I’ve been here for some time. I was here in the 1990's. I was here in the 2000's. And frankly, we took the referee off the field in the 2000's and we didn't put the referee as toughly on the field in the late 90's as we should have. Brooksley Born warned us about that and we kept our eyes shut. And keeping our eyes shut cost millions and millions and millions of people their jobs, their homes and their security. Let us not return to the time of taking the referee off the field. This bill does that.
“It is a dangerous piece of legislation. The bill, which my Republican colleagues have put forward, will put the American people at risk once again of having to bail out institutions if they lose money on risky investments. Let me say to my Republican friends, I share their view that community banks ought not to be treated as ‘too big to fail’ banks.
“However, having said that, this bill takes the referee off the field one more time. It would effectively eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is now the American people's watchdog.
“We spent a lot of time this year in the last five months passing bills under the Congressional Review Act, that would reduce consumer protections, civil rights protections, teacher protections, environmental protections. All we're doing is spending our time taking away protections for the American people and their future. Have we learned nothing, Mr. Speaker?
“Those who fail to learn from history, it is often said, are doomed to repeat it. Let us not doom our citizens to repeat it. Let us not fail to learn the lessons of 2008. Let us not doom ourselves to repeating the mistakes of the past. The American people, average investors and retirees, along with those who use our markets to save for college and purchase a home, they deserve – and now have – commonsense protections.
“Nobody, nobody is seeking to punish or limit what financial firms do well, and that's create and raise capital. But we must ensure that there are referees on the field to protect investors and taxpayers and citizens and, yes, our families and our children. This bill does the opposite. I urge my colleagues to reject it, and I yield back the balance of my time.”