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Public Statements

Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BACA. Mr. Chair, I rise today to speak in strong opposition to the bill before us today.

In 2008, this country experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, life savings, and pensions because of the recklessness of some on Wall Street.

For too long, financial institutions were allowed to solely look out for their bottom line, instead of the hardworking American consumers they served.

Our economic system was dominated by greed, irresponsibility, and lacking oversight.

And now, exactly one year after we enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, a comprehensive package of financial reforms, my Republican colleagues have brought to the floor a bill that severely restricts one of the main components of the bill--the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For the first time in our history, we constructed a government agency that will look out for the American consumer first and foremost.

Yet instead of applauding this movement and supporting the efforts of consumer protection, my colleagues are working to cripple its authority and limit its effectiveness.

H.R. 1315 does nothing to protect American consumers. Instead it delays the transfer of authority to the CFPB and adds several levels of bureaucracy to the bureau's leadership which will only work to delay any decision, rulemaking or enforcement action the bureau engages in.

Finally this bill makes it easier for the other banking regulators, who failed to protect consumers for years, to overturn the Bureau's rules.

Equally appalling is the source of funds being used to pay for this bill.

Republicans have taken the savings gained from H.R. 830, a bill that eliminates the FHA Refinance Program to pay for the cost of the bill before us today.

This means that Republicans are taking money away from a government program aimed at helping homeowners struggling to keep their home, and using it to weaken the CFPB--ultimately making it easier for big banks to skirt consumer protection regulation.

Our economy is still struggling to recover from the economic collapse of 2008.

Millions of Americans are still struggling to find jobs and figure out how they are going to keep their homes.

It has been 28 weeks since the Republicans took control of this chamber, and time and time again, we are forced to consider bills that do nothing to solve the problems that Americans are facing today.

Instead we debate bills like this that eliminate protections for the American middle class and serve as handouts to the ultra rich and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

We should be focusing our attention on getting our economy back on track.

We should be focusing on bills that create jobs and help the middle class recover.

We need to bring back financial security for Americans, and one of the ways to do that is to allow for a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Democrats are standing with American families to help get our economy back on track, and calling for strong consumer protection and effective accountability to prevent another financial crisis for Wall Street.

I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill.

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