U.S. House votes to weaken consumer financial protections | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 9, 2017

U.S. House votes to weaken consumer financial protections

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 9:49 AM

FRENCH HILL: Democrats rap him for voting with the fiancial industry. - SOIREE
  • Soiree
  • FRENCH HILL: Democrats rap him for voting with the fiancial industry.
The U.S. House voted Thursday to repeal much of the Dodd-Frank legislation that placed stricter rules on banks and empowered the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Democrats have the votes to block the legislation in the Senate. But Democrats aren't letting the opportunity pass to note support for the legislation by Republicans, particularly U.S. Rep. French Hill, a former banker. The focus on Hill represents a continuing belief that he could be vulnerable in 2018. One Democrat, Paul Spencer, has already announced and several others are considering a race.

All four Arkansas Republicans voted for the repeal, but End Citizens United, a Democratic PAC, targeted Hill in its release about the vote because of the money he's received from the financial industry.

Congressman French Hill along with his Republican colleagues in the House yesterday voted 233 - 186 to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency that protects American consumers from the predatory interests of big banks and the financial industry. Hill, who is one of Wall Street’s greatest allies in Congress, has taken a whopping $1.4 million from industries regulated by the CFPB over his career.

“Congressman Hill is bought and paid for by his Wall Street donors. He’s kneecapping an agency that has returned billions of dollars to victims of fraud in order to protect the greed of big banks,” said Tiffany Muller, president and executive director of End Citizens United. “It’s a shameful display of Washington’s favorite pastime: pay-to-play. The 2018 elections are around the corner and ECU will make sure this is an election year issue. Congressman Hill will be held accountable.”

Hill's decision to side with his Big Money Wall Street donors will have serious consequences for his constituents. Gutting the CFPB will increase the ability of big banks to manipulate and abuse Arkansas consumers. In total, 3,400 Arkansans have sought help from the CFPB.

The CFPB, which grew out of the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, was designed to protect consumers from the abusive and predatory lending practices that helped create the Great Recession. Since its creation in 2011, the CFPB has provided nearly $12 billion in relief to more than 27 million consumers and has handled more than one million complaints. Most recently, the bureau gained national attention for fining Wells Fargo $100 million for opening unauthorized accounts on behalf of its customers.
The business community in Arkansas has argued that the bill has restricted the ability of community banks to make loans.

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