Partisan Obstructionism Hurts Consumers, Small Business
Submitted by: Green America
Posted: Dec 08, 2011 – 02:28 PM EST
WASHINGTON, Dec. 08 /CSRwire/ - This morning the Senate failed to confirm the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Sixty votes were needed for the nomination process to proceed, but votes cast were 53 against and 45 in favor (with Senator Snowe (R-ME) voting “present” and Senator Kerry (D-MA) not voting.) Every Republican blocked the ability of this crucial nomination to move ahead except for Senator Brown (R-MA). All voting Democrats supported the measure to allow the nomination to move ahead.
The vote reflects the sharply partisan atmosphere in Congress and the influence of the Wall Street mega-banks and financial industry special interests on Republicans and on our legislative process. While accepting billions of dollars in TARP bailout fees – and trillions more in hidden loans and guarantees, Wall Street firms have fought against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would correct abusive financial practices.
“It’s unconscionable that in the wake of the worst financial crisis in our nation’s history since the Great Depression, a crisis fomented by predatory and abusive financial practices, that any legislator would block the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do its job,” stated Fran Teplitz, Green America’s director of social investing.
With no director, the CFPB lacks the authority to do its work, including oversight of payday lenders, non-bank mortgage lenders, debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, and other institutions. It cannot move forward on addressing exploitative mega- bank practices that require protections for consumers and small business.
“As individuals and families struggle as our economic downturn enters its fourth year, Congress has the responsibility to ensure that the reasons for the financial collapse are never repeated. Today, political partisanship and mega-bank pressure has dealt a defeat to the American people,” added Todd Larsen, Green America’s corporate responsibility director.
Green America strongly supported the creation of the CFPB and the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the organization. “The CFPB has a central role in making our financial system work for everyone by correcting financial industry practices that have caused people to lose their homes, life’s savings, and belief in the American Dream,” added Teplitz.
Green America (www.greenamerica.org) is a national membership organization comprised of consumers, businesses, and investors that harnesses economic power to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.