Attorney General Becerra Urges U.S. House to Oppose Bill Stripping Critical Consumer Protections
House expected to vote on the anti-consumer Financial CHOICE Act today
Bill would effectively eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that fights practices harmful to consumers
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose legislation that would harm consumers in California and around the country by stripping critical protections established in the wake of the Great Recession. Attorney General Becerra was joined by the attorneys general of 18 states and the District of Columbia in sending a letter to House leaders to express serious concerns with the Financial CHOICE Act. The House is expected to vote on the bill today.
“Before the Great Recession, the foxes were in charge of the henhouse,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers played fast and loose with other people’s money. The result was that 8.7 million individuals lost their jobs and trillions of dollars in wealth vanished. The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helped put the American people back in charge of their finances. Today, House Republicans will attempt to put the foxes back in charge."
Of specific concern to Attorney General Becerra is that the bill would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Financial CHOICE Act would:
- Eliminate enforcement and rulemaking authority over unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices;
- Strip supervision and enforcement authority over large banks;
- Remove authority to regulate vehicle title and payday loans;
- Permit third party debt collectors to charge high interest rates, among other actions; and
- Reduce transparency and deprive consumers of a valuable source of information.
It was the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 which created the CFPB and put into place other important measures to protect consumers. Last month, Attorney General Becerra joined CFPB Director Richard Cordray at a field hearing in Los Angeles focused on supporting and protecting small businesses.
When he assumed office, Attorney General Becerra committed to protect consumers as a top priority. Since then, he has announced a $33 million multi-state settlement with Johnson and Johnson involving its marketing of over-the-counter medicines that failed to meet quality standards; a $586 million multi-state settlement with Western Union for wire fraud scams; and a record $18.5 million multi-state settlement with Target in response to allegations that more than 40 million customers' payment card information was compromised during the 2013 holiday season after the company failed to provide reasonable data security.
A copy of the letter is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.