May 21, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today approved the financial reform bill by a vote of 59 to 39.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, endorsed the bill, which would create a consumer financial protection bureau to serve as a watchdog for consumers’ financial interests. The bill would improve oversight of banks and Wall Street and fill regulatory gaps to prevent risky firms from wrecking the economy. The bill now goes to a House-Senate conference committee to work out the differences between the two chambers’ bills.
Pamela Banks, Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union, said, “It’s become brutally clear that we need better oversight of the financial marketplace to keep consumers from being ripped off. The Senate did the right thing by casting a strong vote to curb the reckless behavior by banks and Wall Street that sparked record foreclosures and job losses. We hope the final version of the bill goes even further to protect consumers.”
Auto dealers had lobbied senators to insert a loophole in the bill to exempt loans made or arranged by auto dealers from the new consumer protection bureau. A similar loophole was inserted in the House version of the financial reform bill, but the loophole did not come up for a vote during the Senate debate.
“We’re very pleased that the auto dealers’ loophole was not attached to the Senate bill, and it shouldn’t be in the final legislation,” Banks said. “These loans should be scrutinized like other financial products, and Congress shouldn’t water down financial reform to protect those that offer them.”
For more information about financial reform, visit the Consumers Union web site DefendYourDollars.org.
David Butler or Kristina Edmunson – 202-462-6262, Michael McCauley – 415-902-9537