Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor's Statement After Republicans Voted to Rip Consumer Protections Away

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Washington, June 8, 2017 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement after the congressional Republican vote today to rip consumer protections away from hardworking families and small businesses – elevating the interests of Wall Street over Main Street:
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement after the congressional Republican vote today to rip consumer protections away from hardworking families and small businesses – elevating the interests of Wall Street over Main Street:

“Republicans have forgotten the pain of working families in Tampa and across America during the Great Recession.  I have not.  I remember all too well how many people lost their homes and lost their jobs.  I worked to keep many of my neighbors out of foreclosure and connect them with jobs.  In response to the worst economic collapse in our lifetimes, I worked with colleagues to pass Wall Street Reform and outlaw the Wall Street risky deals that lead to the Great Recession.  We took action so that the economic collapse we experienced would never happen again.  Today, House Republicans rolled back many of the most important Wall Street reforms and consumer protections.  They care more about their Wall Street buddies and big banks than working families, homeowners and small businesses.  

“At the height of the economic collapse, one in 22 Florida homes entered foreclosure and the state’s unemployment rate rose to over 11 percent.  Approximately 8 million Americans lost their jobs including more than 900,000 here in Florida while reducing the overall wealth of American families by 28.5 percent.  Wall Street Reform restored responsibility and accountability, boosted confidence among American consumers and helped to stabilize our economy.  Since the adoption of these common sense reforms, America has had a record 85 consecutive months of private-sector job growth and created more than 16 million jobs.  The labor market continues to improve with the unemployment rate now at 4.9 percent here in Florida and wages on the rise. 

“In the middle of the greatest financial crisis of our lifetime, we acted to reform Wall Street.  While some updates to the law are needed, and I support some changes for community banks, overall the Republican bill today takes us back to the days when predatory lenders and profiteers on Wall Street abused consumers and brought our economy to the brink of collapse.  This includes completely gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a strong and independent consumer ‘cop on the beat’ that has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers ripped off by predatory financial institutions.  The bill also allows Wall Street fraudsters to get away scot-free and continue their misconduct by making it harder for the Securities and Exchange Commission to initiate enforcement actions and eliminating its authority to ban officers and directors from the industry.  Moreover, safeguards for financial stability are diminished and rules will no longer apply to the largest banks to operate in a safe and sound manner meant to discourage unsafe risk-taking. 

“After years of recklessness that led to the deepest recession of our lifetime, allowing Wall Street to go back to its old ways is irresponsible and dangerous.  House Republicans should focus on working families – Main Street, instead of Wall Street – rather than taking us back to the dark days of financial crisis and heartache.”

U.S. Rep. Castor’s hometown, Tampa and the Tampa Bay region and indeed all of Florida was hit especially hard by the Great Recession.  During this time, she took such practical steps as foreclosure prevention workshops and job fairs to help working families find work and stay in their homes.  She also acted to vote against a bailout for Wall Street because it did not provide temporary forbearance for her neighbors, and championed passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, working to include additional consumer protections.

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