Merkley Statement on 10 Year Anniversary of Wall Street Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement recognizing the 10th Anniversary of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

“Ten years ago, in the midst of the worst financial crisis that the United States had experienced since the Great Depression, Congress and the Obama administration came together to shut down the worst abusive practices by big financial institutions that had wreaked havoc on our economy and the livelihoods of millions of hard-working American families.

“With Dodd-Frank, we set out to ensure that unchecked recklessness on Wall Street would never again wreck Main Street. I was proud to play a role in shaping this legislation and fighting for key provisions to protect consumers and our economy.

“First, I led the charge to ban the predatory mortgage practices that had turned the dream of homeownership into a nightmare.

“Second, my former colleague, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan and I created the Volcker Rule firewall, which prevented banks from gambling away the hard earned money invested by families and business in the Wall Street casino.

“Third, I partnered with now-Senator Elizabeth Warren—with her working on the outside while I worked on the inside—to make her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a reality. A decade later, the CFPB has proven to be a powerful force for consumers, returning more than $12 billion to consumers who were wronged by their financial institutions.

“But ten years after its passage, we have seen the Dodd-Frank Act endure a relentless campaign from financial lobbyists and their enablers in Washington to weaken and water-down these protections as much as possible.  Their goal is simple: to enable Wall Street’s relentless pursuit of short-term profits for a few at the expense of their customers and everyone else who relies on a stable banking system.

“As our nation again faces a once-in-a-lifetime economic catastrophe, we should heed the lessons of the last crash, and the long but tepid recovery that followed.  When the interests of a handful of wealthy elites rig the economy, the rest of us end up losing what we have at worst or working harder than ever just to tread water at best. As the administration and Congress work to craft a new Covid-19 relief bill, our goal must be to help the American people through these difficult times and to set up our economy for a strong recovery.  That means making sure working families have access to education and child care, housing, health care, and the good paying jobs they need to thrive. It means prioritizing family budgets, not the profit margins of the biggest corporations. America’s success depends on working families’ success.”