President stresses urgency for financial reform, won’t accept any efforts to undermine independence of Consumer Agency

This week, President Obama refocused attention on efforts to reform the financial industry. In doing so, President Obama stated his intentions for an independent Consumer Protection Agency, and confronted Republican efforts to block such reform. The President stated:

“For these banking reforms to be complete – for these reforms to meet the measure of the crisis we’ve just been through – we need a consumer agency to advocate for ordinary Americans and help enforce the rules that protect them. That’s why I won’t accept any attempts to undermine the independence of this agency. And I won’t accept efforts to create loopholes for the most egregious abusers of consumers, from payday lenders to auto finance companies to credit card companies.”

As for Republican opposition, President Obama argued:

“[T]he Republican leader reportedly met with a top executive of one of America’s largest banks and made thwarting reform a key part of his party’s pitch for campaign contributions. And this week, the allies of bank and consumer finance launched a multimillion dollar ad campaign to fight against the proposal. You might call this air support for the army of lobbyists already arm twisting members of the committee to reject those reforms and block this consumer agency.”

Perhaps the President is referring to comments made by House Minority Leader, John Boehner, who faced backlash after rallying bank lobbyists to stand up against “little punk staffers” in an effort to defeat financial regulatory reform:

via The Washington Post:

by Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson

And then came the blessing of a leading lawmaker. “You’re all going to be lobbyists today,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), told the crowd. “I know that’s a dirty word, but that’s what you’re doing.” He told the bankers not to be afraid to stand up to members of Congress or “these little punk staffers,” as he called them.

“Don’t be bashful about who you are,” he said. “Stand up for yourselves, for goodness sakes.”

The House Minority leader faced Democratic backlash for that comment, but has stated that he has no intentions of apologizing for what he caharacterized as being nothing more than a joke:

via Politico:

by Jake Sherman

In an interview with POLITICO Friday, though, Boehner said he wasn’t going to apologize.

“I was making a joke,” Boehner said. “I love staff, there’s nobody who treats staff better than I do.”

Read more:

Still, Republican opposition to regulatory proposals has been made clear. The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled for a hearing on Monday, March 22.

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