Financial Services and the Economy
Our economy continues to struggle to recover from the devastating effects of the financial crisis. As we continue on the path toward recovery, Congress has taken bold steps to reform our nation's financial regulations, crack down on predatory lending, protect American homeowners, and always put the needs of Main Street before those of Wall Street.
Some have criticized the measures Congress has taken in its efforts to keep our nation from economic catastrophe, oftentimes stating that we are helping the very institutions that put us in this precarious financial situation in the first place.
While I contend that no action we have taken is perfect, the financial rescue package passed in October 2008 helped to unclog dangerously tightening credit markets, stabilize financial institutions with ties throughout our economy, and served as an important signal to global markets that the American economy is pro-actively working toward recovery.
The egregious irresponsibility of Wall Street and the misaligned priorities of the previous administration are what put our economy and the well-being of all Americans at risk. This legislation was the necessary first step, but certainly not the only step in solving this financial crisis.
For this reason, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This legislation ends taxpayer-funded bailouts and the idea of "too big to fail," establishes new rules to foster the flow of credit, increases transparency and accountability in the financial sector, and protects and empowers consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Congress also took a bold step toward recovery by enacting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which has been credited with saving or creating 3 to 4 million jobs, gave 95 percent of Americans an immediate tax cut, and invested quickly in the economy.
Further, in our commitment to protect the American consumer, we enacted the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights which provides important consumer protections to the credit card industry and begins to level the playing field between creditors and credit card companies.
I was pleased that the final legislation included an amendment that I offered to this bill which directed the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to suggest appropriate guidelines for creditors to supply cardholders with information regarding the availability of legitimate and accredited credit counseling services, so that all consumers may be aware of the existence and accessibility of these vital services.
As we continue to work to recover from the current financial crisis and enact the necessary measures to ensure this does not occur again, it is vital that we reform our nation's financial regulations to serve the 21st century economy, crack down on irresponsible financial practices, and protect American taxpayers. My constituents have my word that I will always do anything and everything to protect their homes, their jobs, and their livelihoods.