WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on reports of a Senate proposal to continue to house consumer financial protection within the Federal Reserve. Merkley is a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
“The Federal Reserve currently has authority over consumer issues, and it has done an abysmal job in standing up for middle class families and small businesses. The Fed’s leadership cares first and foremost about monetary policy – that’s in the penthouse. Safety and soundness considerations come next. Then, way down in the basement is consumer protection. While a new consumer division would presumably have more power and independence, there is no reason to believe that the culture of the Fed will change.
“I applaud Senator Dodd for the work he is doing to bring the financial reform effort to fruition despite a strong lobbying campaign to water it down. Like Senator Dodd, I believe that strong rules ensuring that consumers aren’t sold defective financial products are crucial to making the economy work for middle class families. I look forward to seeing the details of the proposal, but a lot would have to change at the Fed before I would be convinced they can deliver the strong consumer protection our families and our economy need.”