WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs announced that Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley will serve as the top Democrat on the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protections Subcommittee in the new Congress, placing him in a powerful position to advocate for consumer protection and bank oversight.
The subcommittee has broad oversight over financial institutions and consumer protection, including the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Reserve’s regulation of Wall Street banks.
“We need Wall Street to work for Main Street, not the other way around,” said Merkley. “I will use this position to fight against predatory financial practices, from subprime mortgages to high-interest payday loans. We need to make sure that our financial system strengthens American families rather than stripping them of their hard-earned wealth.
“In particular, I will defend and strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s been very effective in stopping predatory practices and has returned over $4.6 billion to hard-working American families. That’s a real success story.”
Merkley has a long track record of fighting to protect working families from predatory practices. He was a leading champion for the creation of the CFPB during the drafting and debate over the Dodd-Frank Act. He also wrote provisions banning kickbacks to mortgage brokers for selling customers high-cost, high-risk loans and outlawing prepayment penalties in mortgages. As Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, he helped deliver a celebrated victory with legislation protecting Oregon families from payday lenders.
The subcommittee’s full jurisdiction includes banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions; deposit insurance; the Federal Home Loan Bank System; regulatory activities of the Federal Reserve System; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); e-commerce; and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).