WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement following the House passage of the Financial CHOICE Act:
“This is the wrong choice act. It’s wrong for consumers, and wrong for our economy. It is nothing more than a repackaging of Republican efforts over the past six years to deregulate the financial services industry, enable payday lending and other predatory services, and unlearn the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis. It is so radical that even President Trump was only willing to endorse it in ‘several key respects.’
The bill would not only undercut the pro-consumer policies issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—and in the case of payday lending, take away the CFPB’s authority altogether—it would also take away the independence of the CFPB itself, and replace it with political pressure from Congress and well-heeled industries. This is the same CFPB that has collected $12 billion in consumer relief for 29 million consumers, and $600 million in civil fines. If anything, CFPB should be strengthened, not weakened, as it’s clear that bad actors in the financial industry have not gone away.
It speaks volumes that not a single financial industry representative was willing to testify openly in favor of this bill during the hearing it received in April. That’s probably because the House knows what the public thinks – like in South Dakota, where 75 percent of the public voted last fall to ban the payday lenders who are pushing for this bill. While this legislation is dead on arrival in the Senate, today’s near party-line vote is a sad statement about where the House of Representatives stands.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.