Washington (DC), Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) voted to pass historic legislation that will bring about the biggest changes in financial regulation since the New Deal, by voting in favor of H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Passed in the House by a vote of 223 to 202, this act establishes a comprehensive set of rules that will enhance consumer and investor protections with the goal of preventing another financial crisis such as the one the nation is now recovering from.
“All the scandals and struggles we, as a country, have witnessed during the past two years are the best evidence that we needed to make big changes. I am confident the new legislation not only will better protect the finances of American families, but it will also promote a higher degree of responsibility on the part of financial institutions,” said Congressman Green.
The new legislation will create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which will regulate mortgages and credit cards and will make sure that Americans are protected from unfair and abusive financial products and services.
The new rules end taxpayer-funded bail outs of so-called “Too big to fail” financial institutions. At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s powers will be strengthened so that it can better protect investors and regulate the nation’s securities markets.
The new legislation also outlaws many of the industry practices that marked the subprime lending boom and it will ensure that mortgage lenders make loans that benefit the consumer. “Predatory lending, especially for minorities, has been one of the principal beasts of our severe economic crisis. Under the new rules, those practices will not be allowed anymore,” added Green.
Congressman Green also commented that $3 billion will be transferred from the Troubled Assets Relief Program to provide emergency loans to struggling homeowners to assist them against foreclosure; and that $1 billion will be redirected into federal neighborhood stabilization programs that will redevelop abandoned or foreclosed homes.
“Risky and irresponsible behavior, and the failure to regulate the financial industry led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But it stops now. This bill will hold Wall Street and the big banks accountable,” stated Green.