Big banks and financial institutions operating in the U.S. today have repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to engage in risky business practices to increase its potential pay-off with no regard for consumers. That unbridled greed and the absence of strong consumer and financial protections leading up to 2007 caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
It's the responsibility of our elected leaders in the federal government to prevent this from happening again. Congress should be acting to protect us from another crisis where those who can least afford it experience the most extreme consequences. That's exactly what Congress did in 2010 by passing the Dodd-Frank landmark legislation to create protections for consumers on the banking industry. The new rules affected banks, hedge funds, mortgage originators, insurance companies, debt collectors and payday lenders. These protections were put in place to protect you and me.
Passing these protections in 2010 was a hard-fought battle, but they are under constant threat of being eliminated by the republican-controlled House, Senate and this President. They are clearly more concerned with protecting big banks and large financial institutions than they are in protecting us.
House Republicans have shown us who they are fighting for – and it's not us. On June 8, the republican-controlled House passed the Financial Choice Act. It throws out the protections provided by the Dodd-Frank legislation. It would allow banks to return to its risky business practices and limits the ability of outside sources to monitor Wall Street. The Financial Choice Act still has to get approved by the republican-majority Senate and then signed by this President before it can be enacted. Both of those actions are highly likely since the Republicans in the House, Senate and this President have shown a great willingness to fight for the big banks over our financial well-being at every turn.
The Republicans are trying to convince us this is the way to lift restrictions from smaller banks, allowing them to offer more loans to local individuals and smaller companies. Real leadership would mean tailoring a piece of legislation to distinguish rules between small community banks and large financial institutions instead of throwing out the entire set of protections. That seems almost too simplistic, but it's not – it’s just leadership.
Congressman Dan Newhouse voted to allow big banks unharnessed ability to make risky business decisions with our money with no consequences. That kind of thinking is completely opposite of what government should be doing to protect us. Protecting its citizens is the responsibility of the federal, state and local governments. It's the reason we have a government by the people. It begins with who we elect to represent us in the 4th Congressional District.
We need independent, elected leaders who are working for all of us. We don't need one more vote for the republican agenda of giving free reign to corporations and big banks and leaving the rest of us at risk.
You can play a key role in deciding the direction we go on consumer financial protection by changing who represents you in Congress. Your vote can elect an independent-thinking leader who is committed to working for all of us. Vote to make a difference.