Green America Encouraged By Senate Passage of Financial Reform, Calls for Further Strengthening of Protections for Consumers & Small Business
May 21, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC —Green America recognizes the historic steps taken by the Senate on the night of Thursday, May 20 when it passed the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 by a vote of 59-39. Green America commends the Senators who sought to strengthen the bill through strong measures both to prevent the continuation of irresponsible and abusive conduct by the big banks and to increase transparency on Wall Street.
Green America, with our coalition partners, the American Sustainable Business Council and Americans for Financial Reform, worked to bring the voice of green businesses and consumers to Capitol Hill in support of fundamental financial reform. “Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the mega-banks and the Chamber of Commerce, public demand for tough oversight of the banking industry has been clearly heard,” stated Fran Teplitz, Green America’s director of social investing. “The nation’s six leading banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo – together spent nearly $7 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year alone.”
Green America is pleased that the bill calls for stronger financial protections for consumers and small business than what currently exists. Green America worked steadily to promote creation of a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to safeguard borrowers. Green America urges the House and Senate to adopt the strongest provisions for the CFPA when their respective bills are reconciled in conference committee in the weeks ahead. In the final law, the CFPA should not exempt any lenders from oversight and states should be allowed to enact consumer protections that are even stronger than those guaranteed at the federal level.
“Incredibly, despite the widespread suffering caused by the financial crisis, House and now Senate passage of legislation to protect consumers, shareholders, and small businesses was never a guarantee,” noted Todd Larsen, Green America’s director of corporate responsibility. “Much remains to be done to make our financial system work for all individuals and communities, especially those who have been economically marginalized historically and those hardest-hit economically by the current crisis.”
Green America urges the House and Senate conferees to continue to strengthen the financial reform package to prevent another financial collapse triggered by Wall Street greed and the absence of protections for consumers and small business.
About Green America
Green America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. www.greenamerica.org