This week, Senator Chris Dodd introduced a financial reform bill that would begin to bring accountability to our financial institutions and ensure that American taxpayers would never again be on the hook to bail out firms that were deemed “Too Big to Fail.” The President immediately said that he would "work with Chairman Dodd and his colleagues to strengthen the bill and will fight against efforts to weaken it." Not surprisingly, opponents of reform went to work almost immediately taking him up on that fight.
Just yesterday we learned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, no stranger to fighting for the status quo, plans to launch a $3 million ad campaign aimed at bringing down the much needed reforms of our financial system. That’s $3 million to fight a bill that will protect American families by establishing a consumer financial protection agency that will bring transparency, stronger supervision and clear rules of the road to our financial system.
The recession and the aftermath of the financial crisis saw over 8 million Americans lose their jobs, trillions in household wealth disappear and small businesses denied the credit they need to grow. And this was all brought about by a system that failed to monitor or constrict the risk-taking of firms that were too big to break apart in a way that would protect taxpayers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t think that’s a problem worth fixing, but the President does.
The American people deserve a strong and independent consumer financial protection agency that enforces clear rules across the financial marketplace, and the President will fight against the Chamber’s or anyone else’s efforts to undermine the agency’s independence.
If the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to come to the aid of the financial institutions that helped bring about this crisis, that’s their choice. But the President will work to ensure that we bring long overdue reforms to our financial system, because doing so will benefit the American people by laying a foundation for long-term growth and stability in our economy.
Jen Psaki is Deputy Communications Director