June 23, 2011 

House Budgetary Attack on Pivotal Consumer Protection Agencies Is Craven Betrayal of Public

House Must Maintain Funding for Critical Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A vote to slash funding for consumer financial protections and product safety is reckless and betrays the public, Public Citizen said today.

The House Appropriations Committee today voted to reduce sharply the funding for key agencies charged with protecting Americans from financial and product safety abuse. On largely party-line votes, the committee reduced funding of the yet to operate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from $600 million to $200 million and eliminated funding for a new consumer product safety public information database. 

“This attack on Wall Street watchdogs and product safety police reveals a craven betrayal of the American public,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Our nation still reels from the Big Bank-caused Great Recession, yet the conservative-dominated House wants to lay the foundation for another spree in reckless banking.”

Added Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, “Today, consumer protection was not on the appropriators’ minds. They thought only of protecting industry from accountability. Voting to shut down a critical consumer tool like the product safety database, which has just been created and is being used by consumers, is a waste of a government investment and will return product safety monitoring to a dark place where we will be unaware of harmful toys and other products.”

Public Citizen calls on the House and then the Senate to reject these damaging cuts.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.