Feb. 25, 2010

Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform and Thousands of Americans Petition Sen. Dodd to Fight for a Strong, Independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Revised Banking Reform Bill is Imminent

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As Americans await the unveiling of a revised financial reform bill in the Senate after months of bipartisan negotiations, representatives from Public Citizen and the coalition Americans for Financial Reform hand-delivered signatures to Senate banking committee Chairman Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) office on Tuesday thanking him for his leadership, while also urging him to hold Wall Street accountable and to fight for a strong independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
More than 45,000 Americans signed the petitions circulated by Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform, Credo, the Center for Media and Democracy and Consumer Watchdog. These petitions call on Dodd and the banking committee to stand up to Wall Street and the big bank lobbyists.

“A strong independent consumer financial protection agency is the litmus test for financial reform,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said. “Wall Street and the big banks crashed the financial system with abusive mortgage loans, have gouged consumers with outrageous overdraft fees and feasted on rip-off credit card charges. If after all that, Congress fails to establish an independent consumer protection agency, then we will know that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was indeed right when he said the banks own the Senate.”

Public Citizen and the coalition also commended Sen. Dodd for working with the people’s lobbyists to craft reform legislation. 

“We are confident that the Senate Banking Committee, with Chairman Dodd at the helm, will stand up to Wall Street lobbyists and create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that that will crack down on exorbitant fees and deceptive practices of credit card companies, mortgage brokers and others who prey on hard-working Americans,” said Heather Booth , executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “We look forward to working with them to achieve this goal.”

Sen. Dodd issued the following statement to the petitioners:

“Thank you for taking the time to voice your support for strong consumer protections. 
In the years leading up to the financial crisis, our country saw an across-the-board failure to protect consumers.  That’s why I’m working hard to pass strong financial reforms that will hold Wall Street accountable and prevent another financial crisis.
Protecting consumers by cracking down on abuses and deceptive practices will be a key element of this bill.  Keep up the good work, and keep fighting for consumers.”

READ the letter to Sen. Dodd and watch a video of the petition delivery to Dodd’s office. ###