AFR Statement on Passage of FY2011 Continuing Resolution

April 15, 2011

John Carey at 202-466-1854

AFR Statement on Passage of FY2011 Continuing Resolution

Washington, DC – Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 250 national and state organizations working together for strong Wall Street reform, issued the following statement today:

This continuing resolution does not give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission all of the resources they need, but we are very pleased that the President and Congress fought to keep Wall Street reform on track and resisted efforts to starve them of the funds necessary to police the rules of the financial market. The budget does, however, needlessly target the nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for additional layers of scrutiny.

With more than 13.5 million Americans still out of work, the high cost of failing to oversee the financial sector is devastatingly clear. Unfair and reckless conduct by financial special interests cost Americans more than 8 million jobs, hundreds of billions in taxpayer funded bailouts, more than $8 trillion lost in home values and retirement savings, and millions of foreclosures. And much of the deficit we are struggling to address today reflect the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, which was brought about by under-regulation of our financial markets. Yesterday, a bi-partisan Senate report was released about the financial crisis and Senator Coburn (R-OK) said “B[b]lame for this mess lies everywhere from federal regulators who cast a blind eye, Wall Street bankers who let greed run wild, and members of Congress who failed to provide oversight.” Defending an effective consumer bureau , and adequately funding the CFTC and SEC in future budgets will be clear tests of whether leaders have truly learned, and are acting on these lessons.

Opponents of Financial Reform have singled out the CFPB for additional layers of scrutiny and inserted language to include a Government Accountability Office review of rulemaking. The fact is the CFPB is the only government agency whose rulemaking is already subject to a possible veto by other regulators. “The CFPB has more limitations on its power than any other federal agency”, as Professor Adam Levitin said during his testimony before a House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee last week. The CFPB was created as a cop on the beat standing up for consumers in the financial marketplace and the American public wants it to be able to do its job. Special interests have the resources to dominate the regulatory process already — and we need to focus on correcting that balance, not making it easier for them.

The leadership of the House Financial Services Committee has been attacking the CFPB, including introducing legislation to weaken its structure and authority. Kneecapping the CFPB only protects bad players and increases the danger of future financial crises.