Washington, D.C. – December 14, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22) today joined a majority of his House colleagues to pass a landmark piece of legislation to reform our financial system and protect consumers across the country. This bill, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R.4173), will prevent the irresponsible actions that contributed to the financial crisis last fall. This legislation restores real oversight to Wall Street through smart regulation and protects consumers by ensuring that the terms of bank loans, mortgages, and credit cards are fair, clearly written and easy to understand. Also, it helps make sure that American taxpayers will never again have to bail out Wall Street banks by putting an end to “too big to fail” financial firms.
“The reforms made by this piece of legislation are essential to creating a functional, sustainable financial system that families and businesses can count on,” Klein said. “Families across South Florida were directly and personally affected by last fall’s financial crisis, whether it was watching the decline of the value of their home or their retirement savings account. Families who had worked hard every day for decades were suddenly fearful about their financial future, and that is simply not right. As Americans, we cannot – and will not – allow what happened last year to happen again.”
Klein, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the pro-business New Democrat Coalition, worked to help shape the reforms and ensure that they worked to protect consumers, small businesses and taxpayers. This legislation accomplishes a key goal by holding Wall Street banks accountable to make sure risky decisions will no longer hurt families’ retirement funds or college savings.
“At long last, we will have real oversight mechanisms and tough enforcement on Wall Street,” Klein said. “The Securities and Exchange Commission has been revamped and credit rating agencies have been reformed. Now, their stamp of approval will have real meaning behind it. With these changes, consumers can feel more confidence and secure, which represents a critical step towards getting our economy back on track.”
In addition, this bill helps protect families and small businesses from deceptive and abusive financial products. Banks, mortgage companies and credit card companies will no longer be able to offer loans and financial products with confusing terms and hidden fees. It also ends the idea of “too big to fail” and prevents future taxpayer bailouts of big banks by requiring the financial industry to pay its fair share up front. This important reform will also create tough new rules governing the riskiest financial practices that contributed to the crash last fall and put the entire financial system in jeopardy.
To view a video of Congressman Klein’s speech on the House floor discussing this important bill, please click here.