Butterfield Applauds Financial Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield applauded passage of Wall Street financial reforms in the House today, saying many provisions will help and protect people affected by the economic crisis.
“This will finally bring an end to the unchecked, risky and irresponsible gambles on the part of America’s financial institutions,” Butterfield said.
Butterfield said the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, approved by a 223 to 202 vote, will end taxpayer-funded bailouts, protect consumers from predatory lending, safeguard retirement and college savings from unnecessary risks and require much greater transparency and accountability for financial institutions.
He also said that several other key provisions would provide resources and relief to communities hit hard by the economic decline. Specifically, the bill includes $1 billion for Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Under the program, local government can use the funds to purchase, rehabilitate and redevelop foreclosed, abandoned housing, and to alleviate blight properties.
He said that the bill also includes $3 billion in low-interest loans for unemployed or underemployed homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages. Under the bill, homeowners must be at least three months behind on their mortgage payments and must have a reasonable prospect of being able to resume making full mortgage payments.
The legislation would also create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect families and small businesses by ensuring bank loans, mortgages and credit cards are fair, affordable, and understandable. Butterfield explained that the new agency would streamline the role of protecting ordinary Americans’ financial security.
“The economic crisis has revealed the vital need for a stand-alone agency with the singular mission of protecting the rights of consumers,” Butterfield said.
Additionally, Butterfield said, the bill gives the Securities and Exchange Commission new enforcement powers and requires hedge funds and private equity funds to register.
He said it also enhances oversight and transparency of the credit rating agencies; addresses egregious executive compensation by allowing shareholders to have “say on pay;” and, limits the risky pay practices of bank executives who jeopardized banks’ soundness.