Louise Line: The Wrong Choice
This week, House Republicans brought to the floor the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, a dangerous bill that guts the most important consumer financial protections under Dodd-Frank and makes it easier for big banks to engage in the same reckless behaviors that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Under the Republican proposal, the same Wall Street firms that plunged our country to the brink in 2008 would be free to once again take advantage of consumers and force middle-class families to go it alone without the protections they rely on today. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would be gutted, along with its critical protections for Americans affected by deceptive acts by bad financial actors. Since it was created, the CFBP has helped 29 million people in all 50 states receive nearly $12 billion in relief.
Sadly, this is just a topline look at the devastating impacts of this bill. Despite all the partisan theatrics from Washington Republicans, we know that Dodd-Frank has made great strides in protecting consumers while stabilizing and growing our economy. Just consider this—in the years since Dodd-Frank was enacted:
- We have seen 80 consecutive months of private-sector job growth.
- Business lending has increased by 75 percent and the industry set an all-time record for profits last year, which totaled $171 billion.
- Over 16 million jobs have been created nationwide.
- The unemployment rate has fallen 4.3 percent.
Like so many of you, I remember the devastating impacts of the 2008 financial crash and am determined to keep the protections you’ve come to rely on. I brought the Wall Street reform bill to the House floor as chairwoman of the Rules Committee seven years ago and won’t sit silently as House Republicans and Wall Street lobbyists dismantle it piece by piece. Washington Republicans should stop doing the bidding of big banks and lobbyists and start working for the American people.
Let’s call their CHOICE Act what it really is: the wrong choice. It is a dangerous step backward and I will continue to fight against it.
Louise M. Slaughter