Consumer Protection and Financial Reform
- Our financial markets are still vulnerable to instability and abuse, and new measures are necessary to protect consumers and the economy.
- Federal regulators must strenuously apply the new Wall Street regulations approved in 2010.
- Congress must continue to investigate and bring to light financial industry practices that harm consumers.
The financial crisis of 2008 cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes and their financial security. It has endangered businesses large and small. And it was the result not of the normal ups and downs of the economy, but of recklessness and irresponsibility among mortgage lenders, Wall Street banks, credit rating agencies and government regulators.
That’s why I pushed so hard for meaningful Wall Street reform. That helped lead to passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which will rein in much of this recklessness, establishes a strong new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and takes steps to ensure the future stability of the financial system. The legislation includes language that Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and I proposed to reduce banks’ risky trading and to end conflicts of interest that helped lead to the crisis.
My focus now is on ensuring that these protections are not watered down as federal regulators turn the legislation into detailed regulations and enforce them. I also support new steps to reduce instability and fraud on increasingly fractured and hard to monitor trading markets. I will continue to use the investigative authority of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which I chair, to bring problems and abuses in the financial sector to light. And I support continuing efforts to protect consumers from abusive practices in the financial industry.
Senator Levin’s Record on Consumer Protection and Financial Reform
- April 13, 2012 – Sen. Levin fights oil speculation, high gas prices
Sen. Levin is one of 19 U.S. senators who file an amicus brief in federal court to support commodities regulators in establishing trading limits on speculators who contribute to the volatility in oil and gas prices.
- March 26, 2012 – Sen. Levin speaks out against oil speculation
In a Senate floor speech based on information developed by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Sen. Levin cites evidence that speculators are overwhelming the market for oil, gas and other commodities, calls for the establishment of trading limits on speculators as required in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation, and calls for stronger actions to protect consumers and businesses from the impact of speculation on oil prices.
- March 22, 2012 – Sen. Levin opposes misnamed 'jobs' bill
Sen. Levin speaks out against legislation that has been sold as a job-creation bill, but that eliminates important protections for investors and threatens to reduce, rather than grow, investment in job creation. Earlier, Sen. Levin had joined with Sens. Mary Landrieu and Jack Reed to offer an alternative that would boost investment in job creation while maintaining investor protections.
- Feb. 29, 2012 – Sen. Levin opposes ‘assault’ on health coverage
Sen. Levin helps defeat an amendment that would allow employers and health insurers to deny workers access to health services, saying the legislation "would grant an employer the right to substitute his moral convictions for those of his employees."
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