Overcoming the economic crisis and promoting continued recovery are two of the most important issues facing Congress. In response to the resulting turmoil in our economy and financial markets, and to prevent future crises, I supported passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203). This law implements commonsense reforms that ensure transparency and accountability within the financial system and prevent the abuses that brought our economy to its knees.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this law was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The newly established CFPB will serve as an independent watchdog with the authority to ensure American consumers are offered safe, non-predatory products when they shop for mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and other financial products. I support a robust, fully funded CFPB to work with all parties, including consumers, merchants, banks, regulatory agencies, and other financial institutions, to foster commonsense protections for consumers.
As we continue looking forward toward recovery, I am also committed to identifying those responsible for the collapse of our economy. Millions of Americans lost their homes, retirement accounts, and jobs during the last few years, and the people responsible must be brought to justice. Throughout the recovery process, I have actively communicated my concerns to the federal agencies in charge of investigating and prosecuting any crimes committed. This includes the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission among others. In addition, President established the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, www.stopfraud.gov, in November 2009 to further investigate cases of fraud and large financial crimes.
Moving forward, the implementation of sensible reforms will be important to help the economy thrive, but also ensure financial institutions and brokers behave responsibly. Providing proper authority to our regulators is crucial, but we must do so in a way that does not unnecessarily burden businesses and prevent financial institutions from providing important services to their customers.
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