Plan Advances for New Agency for Consumers; GOP, Wall Street against It
Byline: Sean Lengell, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
House Democrats moved closer Wednesday to adopting President Obama's plan for a new regulatory agency designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous financial deals, despite opposition by Republicans and Wall Street.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said he plans to prepare a final draft for the legislation the week of Oct. 12, promising that the new agency would offer greater protections for mortgages, credit cards and loans by establishing simpler and more transparent rules and regulations.
The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would strip consumer regulatory powers from the Federal Reserve, which Mr. Frank accused of lackadaisical enforcement.
I think it's fair to say that no calluses will be found on the hands of those in the federal regulatory agencies who have consumer responsibilities, because there is no evidence of any particular hard work, Mr. Frank said during a committee hearing.
The Massachusetts Democrat initially had wanted the committee to clear the bill before the August congressional recess but agreed to postpone a vote amid concerns from moderates in his own party.
Republicans and financial institutions argue that tighter controls and more regulations would stifle investments and innovation in the financial world and possibly slow down the flow of capital through the markets, a scenario blamed for last year's Wall Street meltdown. …