AFR joined a letter urging Congressional leaders to make sure that policies across the housing continuum are comprehensively included in the Budget Reconciliation Bill, especially those with a strong focus on affordable homeownership.
AFR sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to take a faster pace in filling key regulatory and financial policy positions. The letter calls out how the Administration’s slow pace in these appointments has undermined its racial justice and climate change agendas.
During the 2019-20 election cycle, Wall Street spent at least $2.9 billion on campaign contributions and lobbying to influence policy in Washington, according to a report released today by Americans for Financial Reform. That total, which amounts to $4 million a day, shatters the previous record of $2 billion set in the 2015-16 presidential cycle. The highest-ever level of spending by Wall Street banks and financial services reflects the industry’s relentless push to influence decision-making, regardless of the party that controls Congress or the executive branch.
On January 6, 2021, Congress was scheduled to formally certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. But based on spurious allegations of voter fraud, 147 Republican members of the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to object to either the results in Arizona or Pennsylvania or both. Individuals and entities associated with the financial sector reported making a total of $43,483,590 in contributions to these members.
Today, Americans for Financial Reform released a record of votes during the 116th Congress regarding consumer protections and Wall Street accountability. During the 116th Congress, the Democratic-led House of Representatives advanced a number of measures to strengthen consumer protections and to put in place enforcement tools to hold bad actors in the financial industry accountable for abusive, discriminatory, and fraudulent practices.
AFR joined a letter strongly supporting the Force Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act). The letter stated that the legislation would ensure that workers, consumers, servicemembers, nursing home residents, ordinary investors, and small businesses harmed by bad actors will be able to bring valid claims in court, and would not be forced into private, secretive, corporate-controlled arbitration systems required by nonnegotiable contracts. It argued for the particular need for Congress to move forward with this legislation in light of the economic hardship facing working families during the pandemic.
AFR joined a letter urging Congress to expand assistance to homeowners in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. The letter, which followed a previous letter to the Biden Administration urging for similar protections, requested that the upcoming COVID relief package include $25 billion for direct assistance to homeowners, with the bulk of the funds deployed through state housing finance agencies through the Homeowner Assistance Fund and including at least $100 million for housing counseling and $39.7 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.
“Facing the most economic distress and illness, low-income families and communities of color are most at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure without relief. The Homeowner Assistance Fund is a necessary measure to stem the impending foreclosure crisis and prevent devastating losses for families and neighborhoods.”