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Public Statements

Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is indicative of why we are in opposition to much of what is being said today. This amendment assumes that there is some sort of onerous regulation or some sort of invidious discrimination that has taken place within the CFPB when, in fact, the CFPB has not issued one regulation, not one. And because it has not issued one regulation, one can only assume that much of what is happening today is onerous speculation and invidious prognostication because there seems to be this notion that this agency is going to be harmful, but it hasn't done one thing. There is this concept of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but there is no bathwater. There is no bathwater to throw out because the baby hasn't done anything.

The CFPB has done absolutely nothing, and we are now trying to overregulate it before it has an opportunity to pass a single regulation. It was not the CFPB that created the crisis. It did not create 3/27s and 2/28s. It did not create prepayment penalties that coincide with teaser rates. It did not create negative amortization. It did not create the dastardly yield spread premium which allowed people to qualify for prime mortgages and be forced into subprime mortgages. The CFPB has done nothing. It is an effort on our part to make sure that many of the onerous actions that took place, that caused us to be in the position that we're in, that these actions cannot happen again.

I stand in opposition to this amendment. I also stand in opposition to the bill because the bill would weaken the CFPB to the extent that it can't do what it is intended to do, and that is protect consumers. Somebody, some agency ought to stand there for consumers. This agency is that agency. It's the watchdog. We do not need a watchdog without any bite. Let's keep the bite in the CFPB. Let's make sure that it can protect consumers and make sure that we don't get the products back on the market that we had before.

This amendment would allow persons who are on the board, who do not have a vote to petition, in a sense, they would become empowered by this ability to petition, even if it doesn't impact the industry that they happen to represent. I stand in opposition to it. I think the CFPB, as presented, is the best way for us to proceed.

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