Thank you for your recent communication expressing your support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I appreciate you taking the time to write, and I welcome this opportunity to respond.
Like you, I believe that there is a fundamental need to reform the regulatory structure of our financial industry in order to better protect consumers. The recent financial crisis had many causes, including imbalances in saving and consumption, the widespread use of poorly understood financial instruments, general shortsightedness, and too cozy of a relationship between financial institutions and those who regulate them. However, it was also the product of basic failures in financial supervision and regulation.
Our current framework for financial regulation is riddled with gaps, weaknesses and jurisdictional overlaps, and suffers from an outdated system of financial risk analysis. In recent years, innovation in the financial sector has surpassed the pace of regulatory modernization, leaving entire markets largely unregulated.
That is why I voted in favor of H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was introduced by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) on December 2, 2009. One of the most important components of this bill was the creation of the CFPB, which was established to regulate financial products and protect consumers. The CFPB is an independent bureau within the Federal Reserve System responsible for the supervision of banks, credit unions, and companies and the enforcement of financial protection laws. The CFPB will empower individuals and families to make informed decisions by promoting fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and other consumer financial products and services. The Bureau will also patrol the market to ensure that financial companies who break the laws are held accountable. I believe that the CFPB is vital to protecting consumers, ending predatory practices by financial companies, and preventing another financial crisis. Please be assured that I will keep our shared interest in protecting and preserving the CFPB and will strongly oppose any attempt to eliminate, weaken, or defund the Bureau.
If you are interested in following a particular piece of legislation through the legislative process, the website hosted by the Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov is extremely helpful. It provides a wealth of information about legislation under consideration in the current Congress as well as bills introduced in earlier sessions. The site is called Thomas to honor President Thomas Jefferson and his belief in public access to the workings of government.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I welcome your views, and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Member of Congress