New consumer agency needs teeth …

… and Rep. Bean (D-Ill.) along with some other members of Congress have been armed by financial industry lobbyists with the pliers to yank ’em out. The bill to create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (H.R. 3126) goes up for a vote on Thursday, and Public Citizen is fighting on all fronts to stop the effort to weaken the proposed agency.

How is Wall Street fighting reform? By throwing money at it, of course. From our press release:

The finance industry has been soaking members of Congress in campaign cash, and these efforts to weaken the CFPA show that the effort might pay off. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), the four largest banks contributed $16.9 million to federal political campaigns and spent $23 million lobbying in 2008. Two-thirds of Bean’s campaign cash for the 2010 cycle – $438,337 of $668,677 – comes from lobbyists and lobbyist-connected PACs. Forty-two percent – $269,800 of $668,677 – of Bean’s cash comes from the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) industries. The data also show that two-thirds of Bean’s campaign money comes from political action committees (PACs) and that 53 percent of her PAC money is from FIRE industries.

We’re fighting some well-heeled oppenents, no doubt about it. But Art Levine in the Huffington Post writes about our effort to defeat the Bean amendment that would significantly weaken the bill, noting that “Despite the odds they’re facing this week, Public Citizen, among other groups, sent out alerts to its 100,000 members calling for them to contact their representatives to back a strong bill.”

Join the fight for a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency.