|Carson: Regulatory Reform Must Protect Consumers, Take Politics Out of Process|
July 24, 2009
WASINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson issued the following statement during today’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee focused on the Obama Administration’s plan to restructure and increase oversight of the nation’s financial regulatory system. The hearing featured testimony from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
“I am pleased that we have the opportunity to hear from Secretary Geithner on the Administration’s proposal for sweeping financial regulatory reform and from the regulators who will be affected and ultimately responsible for implementing these changes. My colleagues and I have heard the arguments against modernizing regulation to match the challenges that exist in our markets. Indeed, it is always easier to maintain the status quo, but that is not why President Obama and this Congress were elected.
Our constituents know that the abuses in our markets that led to our current financial crisis must be addressed. That being said, changes of this scale require meticulous and thorough review. I am grateful Chairman Frank understands this and has led our committee through an aggressive hearing schedule investigating the various interests and components of the Administration’s proposal.
In that process and after having read through the bill, I still have lingering concerns I hope to clear up today. I agree that the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency is critical to making sure that consumers have a meaningful understanding of financial contracts, that our regulations are streamlined, and that consumer protection does not take a back seat to the financial interests of Wall Street firms.
However, we must make sure that in disputes between safety and soundness, regulators have a logical resolution process that would not be open to political influence. Further, we should shore up language so that the agency does not unintentionally ban banks and credit unions from offering safe products that are narrowly tailored for unique consumer positions. These are concerns that must be addressed and overcome so that my colleagues and I can feel confident in every provision of this historic, necessary legislation.
I look forward to this opportunity to discuss these issues with this distinguished panel.
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