If there is anything that we learned from the near-meltdown of America's financial system in 2008, it's that free markets require effective, broad oversight and capable regulators. As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, I saw from a front-row seat how the hands-off regulatory policies of the previous Administration nearly resulted in the total collapse of our economy.
Along with my colleagues in the Democratic Congress, I have worked to ensure that the type of financial meltdown we experienced in 2008 can never happen again. I've argued for comprehensive changes to how we regulate the financial services industry, including: oversight of over-the-counter derivatives -- like the Credit Default Swaps that resulted in AIG's near collapse; tougher enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and the creation of a bailout fund, paid for by the financial services industry, to ensure that American taxpayers will never again be forced to pay for Wall Street's mistakes.
I have also successfully fought for consumers. I was proud to be invited to the Rose Garden at the White House to watch President Obama sign into law my legislation to prohibit credit-card companies from charging their customers a fee to pay their bills online or by phone as part of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. I was also pleased when, earlier this year, the SEC finally heeded my advice and reinstituted to so-called "uptick rule," which protects stockholders from losing money when big investment houses make a run on a stock, causing its value to decline precipitously.
If the financial services industry is to fully recover and be restored to the strongest, most robust on Earth, we must restore people's confidence in the system. I will continue to fight for common-sense regulation of our financial system and protections for American consumers to ensure that consumers are treated fairly and need not worry about writing the check to cover excessive risk on Wall Street.