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TRENTON--Wall Street won a victory over hard-working consumers today. By blocking a vote to confirm Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 45 Senators gave in to Wall Street instead of standing up for the public.
Gideon Weissman, Program Associate of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group and Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action, both expressed their disappointment in the outcome. NJPIRG and NJCA are both members of Americans for Financial Reform, a nationwide coalition working for a financial system based on accountability, fairness and security.
Weissman elaborated on the loss for consumers: “Hard-working consumers suffered a blow today, as the confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was defeated by a Wall Street-backed Senate coalition. Without a director, the CFPB's authority to protect consumers against financial pitfalls by both banks and non-banks is limited. That serves the Wall Street banks well and is harmful to consumers. Industries with long records of mistreating consumers, like payday lenders and for-profit-student lenders, will continue to lack the same federal oversight that traditional banks receive. NJPIRG will continue to fight for the accountability needed to prevent some of the most egregious practices that hurt consumers and led to the financial meltdown.”
Salowe-Kaye went on to say, “New Jersey Citizen Action is outraged that Republican Senators refuse to even consider the nomination of a director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Richard Cordray is eminently qualified to protect American consumers as director of the CFPB. Without a director, the CFPB will not have the political presence nor the clout it needs to get its job done. This political maneuver to block an up or down vote is further evidence that Republicans in Congress are determined to gut Dodd Frank and are willing to do so at the expense of consumers who need protection from reckless and unethical banking practices on Wall Street more than ever.”
Despite the loss today, the CFPB is already helping consumers. Consumers can report credit card complaints and receive information on mortgages and other financial products at consumerfinance.gov. New Jersey residents can thank Senators Lautenberg and Menendez for their efforts today to strengthen the CFPB, and should hold accountable out-of-state Senators for their failure to stand up for American consumers.
NJPIRG is a founding member of the Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 250 groups working together for a fair , accountable, and secure financial system. For more information go to www.njpirg.org or follow us online @njpirg.
New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) is New Jersey’s largest citizen watchdog coalition. A nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization founded in 1982, NJCA has 60,000 family members and 100 affiliate groups including a range of senior, labor, religious, civil rights, civic & neighborhood groups NJCA actively campaigns for fair banking & community reinvestment and other progressive social & economic justice goals.
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