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Miller-Meeks Decries Secrecy in New Financial Regulation Bill

Press Release

Location: Ottumwa, Iowa

Republican congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks today questioned why Rep. David Loebsack would support recently approved financial regulation legislation that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission from virtually all open records laws.

"Why would Congress pull a cloak of secrecy over the very regulators who are supposed to keep the Wall Street and nation's financial industry honest? Where was David Loebsack when this was happening and why would he possibly vote for it?" Miller-Meeks said. "The only logical thing Iowans can conclude is that he was either asleep at the switch again or he was doing exactly what Nancy Pelosi told him to do - again."

She continued, "David Loebsack defended Charles Rangel two years ago by trying to block a House investigation that eventually led to 13 charges but he doesn't seem to have time to defend us. The best way to create transparency in government and the nation's financial system so we don't have another meltdown is to replace him with someone who truly believes in transparency."

National media outlets are reporting that a "little-noticed provision" of the recently passed financial-reform legislation signed last week by President Obama exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Because the agency is a regulatory body, experts say the provision covers almost every SEC action. While Congress and federal agencies can request information, the public no longer can. As one expert noted, "The next time there is a Bernie Madoff failure, the American public will not be able to obtain the SEC documents that describe the failure."

In 2008, Miller-Meeks favored a number of financial reforms, including removing language from Community Reinvestment Act that encouraged excessive risk-taking by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"One of the causes of our economic crash was that those institutions were cooking the books and hiding things from us. We're going to be headed for trouble all over again if the very regulators who are supposed to be protecting us are no longer accountable to the public," Miller-Meeks said. "Maybe David Loebsack thinks big government knows what's best for us. Frankly, I think Iowans are tired of being kept in the dark and then forced to bailout big banks when it's time to face the consequences of those institutions' bad decisions."

She added, "I said at the time that I would've voted against the federal bailout. I'll say right now I certainly would have voted against the Dodd-Frank bill's provisions to keep more secrets from Iowans, create a permanent bailout authority protecting 'too-big-too-fail' financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and fails to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This bill could put taxpayers on the hook for another $1 trillion in bailouts. I'm against that."

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