AFR: We Applaud The President’s Speech; Now It Is Time For Congress To Act

Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of over 250 consumer, employee, investor, community and civil rights groups, released the following statement on the President’s speech today in New York:

Heather Booth, Director, Americans for Financial Reform: “We thank the President for the message he sent to Wall Street.  It is one they need to hear. It is also one that Congress, and the nation as whole, must hear. We must pass strong financial reform to rein in excess on Wall Street, protect consumers and restore stability to our economy.

The risky schemes of the big Wall Street banks caused the collapse of the economy and cost 8 million Americans their jobs.  Now they’re at it again, gambling with our money and paying themselves massive bonuses.  The Senate must pass real reform that holds the big Wall Street banks accountable.  The more Congress delays and puts forth fake solutions bought-and-paid-for by the banks, and their friends in Congress, the greater the risk that another collapse will cost more jobs and undermine economic recovery.

The President has shown leadership on this issue. The House has passed legislation. It is now time for the Senate to step up. It is time to put every Senator on the record. Will they stand with Main Street which has been devastated by the reckless behavior of the Big Banks, or will they stand with Wall Street who wants to continue business as usual?

Next week, the Senate is likely to take up financial reform legislation. While the drafted bills are strong—we are working to strengthen them.  We remain very concerned that the Big Banks, their army of lobbyists and their allies in the Senate will do everything in their power to weaken or kill this legislation. AFR, and our over 250 coalition members, will continue to hold these Senators accountable and push to make sure that strong and comprehensive financial reform does not fall victim to Washington politics or backroom deals.”