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Democrats Fight Into the Night to Protect Consumers, Homeowners

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Washington, DC, May 3, 2017 | comments

On the first day of the House Financial Services Committee markup of H.R. 10, also known as the Wrong Choice Act, Committee Democrats fought throughout the day and into the night to protect hardworking Americans from the catastrophic damage the bill would cause. The Wrong Choice Act undermines and outright repeals critical safeguards in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law that was designed to protect the American economy from another financial crisis.

Before the Chairman called a recess for the night, Democrats offered a series of amendments to highlight the significant harm that would result from Wrong Choice Act. The amendments that were debated include the following:

  • Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Al Green (D-TX) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced an amendment to protect consumers by preserving the Consumer Bureau’s funding within the bill, ensuring this critical watchdog has the resources and independence it needs to protect consumers from predatory lending and abusive practices. The Wrong Choice Act would rob the Consumer Bureau of its independence, allowing special interests to pressure Congress into shrinking the Consumer Bureau’s budget, eliminating its ability to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws.

  • Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Denny Heck (D-WA), and Al Green (D-TX) introduced an amendment to protect consumers by ensuring that the Consumer Bureau is able to go after any Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) perpetrated on innocent consumers. The UDAAP authority is the Consumer Bureau’s most potent weapon to take on predatory lenders and Wall Street banks, like Wells Fargo, when they take advantage of their customers. The Wrong Choice Act would severely weaken consumer financial protections by eliminating this critical tool.

  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) introduced an amendment to protect consumers by ensuring that any UDAAP violation committed against 9/11 first responders could be enforced so that these heroes would be protected. The Wrong Choice Act completely eliminates UDAAP, significantly weakening consumer protections for 9/11 first responders.

  • Vice Ranking Member Dan Kildee (D-MI) offered an amendment to protect homeowners by ensuring that foreclosure victims could not be taken advantage of. The Wrong Choice Act completely eliminates UDAAP, significantly weakening consumer protections for millions of Americans, including foreclosure victims.

  • Rep. David Scott (D-GA) introduced an amendment to protect consumers by establishing an Office for the Under-banked and Un-Banked Consumers. This commonsense proposal would focus on critical issues that underbanked and unbanked consumers face. The Wrong Choice Act leaves these consumers behind.

  • Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) introduced an amendment to protect consumers that states that any enforcement actions related to stopping fraudulent foreclosure activity by foreclosure mills or their mortgage servicers shall not be subjected to the cost-benefit analysis in the bill. The Wrong Choice Act would leave homeowners exposed to fraudulent foreclosure activities.

Republicans ultimately rejected all Democratic amendments proposed on Tuesday. The markup and amendment debate continues today. Watch the markup here.


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