Congressmen Messer, Rokita vote to gut Wall Street reform, leave Main Street at the mercy of the big banks

INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita yesterday voted to make another financial crisis more likely by passing legislation to undo comprehensive Wall Street reform.

The House of Representatives voted 233-186 for the Financial Choice Act on Thursday, which would “wipe away much of the financial law created to head off economic meltdowns” like the crisis that occurred in 2008, according to the AP.

  • New reforms put in place since the crisis have required banks to hold more capital, insulating them from financial shocks and decreasing the likelihood of future bailouts.
  • Further safeguards, such as the successful stress test program, were put in place to increase stability, while overseers were also given the power to dismantle certain struggling “too big to fail” banks and other financial institutions and sell off the pieces, instead of letting them collapse and drag down the rest of the financial system.

Yesterday’s bill that Congressman Rokita and Messer supported would also repeal numerous crucial financial protections for individuals.

  • If signed into law, the Financial Choice Act would eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the main financial services consumer watchdog, which makes sure that mortgages, credit cards and loans are fair and transparent. The CFPB has returned $29 billion to over 12 million consumers over unfair and illegal financial practices.

The Federal Reserve has described the American financial system as “more robust and resilient” than it was before the financial crisis, in large part because of the passage of comprehensive reforms. Undoing these reforms would reverse that trend and make another collapse more likely.

“Congressmen Messer and Rokita may be trying to get wealthy special interests on their side to fund an expensive Republican primary, but their vote puts Hoosiers on Main Street at great risk of another crippling financial crisis. This vote won’t help small businesses in Indiana—it just takes us back to a rigged system where the rich on Wall Street get richer and working families get the bill,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers won’t forget that their Congressmen just put the interests of donors before the needs of the middle class.”

 

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