Pingree to Oppose CHOICE Act, Says Legislation Weakens Oversight of Financial Industry
Today Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will vote against House legislation that severely weakens oversight of the financial industry. H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, would roll back several key elements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
“Mainers suffered the consequences of Wall Street’s irresponsible and reckless practices during the Great Recession with lost homes, jobs, and income. Those people deserve to know that Congress is doing everything it can to keep it from happening again,” said Pingree. “Yet here we are, about to give the financial industry license to repeat their mistakes. This bill also severely weakens the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a much-needed watchdog that has held banks, lenders and other financial companies accountable for deceitful and predatory practices against consumers. While I support reviewing regulations to ensure they are fair to the community banks and credit unions in Maine that did not contribute to the financial crisis, this bill mostly benefits Wall Street firms while placing everyone else at risk.”
Provisions of H.R. 10 include:
Gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB has won millions from big corporations by suing those who use “deceptive practices” for their customers. The bill would weaken the agency by allowing Congress to control its funding, letting the White House fire the agency’s director at will, and stripping it of a broad range of rulemaking authority.
Eliminating the Volcker Rule, which bans taxpayer-backed banks from engaging in speculative trading activity. The rule was meant to discourage risky transactions like the type that Bear Stearns engaged in prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
Doing away with the Orderly Liquidation Authority, a key part of Dodd-Frank that helps keep failing financial institutions from sinking the entire economy, which is what happened during the latest recession.
Weakening oversight of the payday loan industry. CFPB has found that over 19 million U.S. households resort to payday loans—almost 70% of these borrowers have to take out a second loan to cover the first, and 20% end up saddled with 10 or more loans, one after the other.