Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today released this statement following a vote in the House of Representatives to pass the most sweeping overhaul of the financial system since the 1930s. Despite significant bipartisan opposition, today's proposal to create an elaborate government bureaucracy with unprecedented powers passed by a vote of 237-192.
"I do believe real reform is necessary, but that reform should be targeted to better enforce laws on the books, and modernize the financial regulatory system," Reichert said. "It's clear that abuses contributed to the current financial crisis, and that our outdated regulatory system failed to prevent that abuse. But the last thing the American people want right now is another government takeover of private industry. The proposal Congress considered today shows a total disregard for paying down the deficit with unused TARP funds. These taxpayer dollars were not meant to be used as a slush fund for new federal spending. What Congress should instead focus on is modernizing the system and making credit more available, not taking action that will result in government over-reaching, over-regulation, and further constricting access to credit.
"Congress must do its part to make sure that authorities are empowered to prevent a range of scams, fraud and abuse that contributed to this mess in the first place. What America needs most today is a regulatory structure that serves consumers, lenders, and financial businesses better, rather than wasting billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to create more government bureaucracy -- with limited congressional oversight. That's why, back in December, I supported and helped offer a bipartisan amendment to allow existing, experienced regulators to coordinate better, protect consumers, and help small lenders extend credit to families and small businesses. I'll continue pursuing common sense reforms of this nature to get our economy and our country back on stable footing."
In December, Reichert supported legislation to improve consumer protections and modernize the nation's financial regulatory system without additional government spending and excessive new government bureaucracy. He helped offer a bipartisan amendment providing a superior protection of American consumers by enforcing current laws with experienced regulators rather than creating a new agency with a "czar" to oversee all financial products. He took issue with the proposed bill, under which a new bureaucracy would be created to review and approve consumer financial products while having unprecedented, virtually unchecked authority to restrict product choices for consumers. The alternative Reichert offered would protect consumers through new coordination of existing, experienced regulators while better coordinating existing standards. Reichert today also supported language proposed by Rep. Ron Paul related to a comprehensive, robust audit of the Federal Reserve that he also supported in December's House-passed version of the bill. Finally, Reichert opposed a provision that would create an Office of Financial Research, a new federal agency that will have unprecedented power to track the financial activities of all Americans.