Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to Republicans' bill to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"We are still feeling the effects of a crisis that largely came about because the referees who oversee the soundness of our financial system were not on the field. As a result, millions of Americans are still out of work. But while Democrats have worked to restore proper oversight to Wall Street, Republicans want the referees off the field again—and that would put us all at risk.
"This legislation puts the special interests ahead of the public interest by weakening the entity that shields responsible consumers from financial abuses. Last year, Congress passed an important Wall Street reform bill in order to prevent a job-destroying financial crisis from happening again. And one of the most crucial parts of that bill was the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog that would look out for the interests of ordinary Americans who want to sign mortgages, apply for student loans, and start businesses on honest and fair terms. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is empowered to ensure that lenders provide clear, plain-language explanations of loan terms—and to stop the kind of abusive and deceptive loan practices that helped drive our economy off a cliff. If such protections had been in place in the last decade, the odds of a crisis would have been significantly less.
"But this Republican legislation would make it much easier to overturn these consumer-protecting rules. It would make the people’s watchdogs far weaker at a time when they are needed more than ever. This legislation is part of Republicans’ stated goal to dismantle Wall Street reform—protecting special interests, but leaving Americans unprotected from another crisis.
"Removing Americans’ defenses, when we have not even fully recovered from the last crisis, is a new level of irresponsibility. I urge my colleagues to make clear that the interests of their constituents come first, and to vote down this bill."