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Cummings Issues Statement on President Trump’s Planned Assault on Financial Reform and Consumer Protections

Feb 3, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on President Trump’s Planned Assault on Financial Reform and Consumer Protections

 

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to reports that President Donald Trump and his Administration are preparing to roll back protections Congress enacted in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, as well as the “fiduciary rule” that was put in place to protect the retirement savings of American citizens:

“On October 23, 2008, at the height of the economic crisis, I personally witnessed the chilling testimony of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who admitted under oath that he had been wrong to believe that banks would protect themselves and the American people from financial meltdown or that they would act in the best interest of our nation. 

“His exact words were these:  ‘I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.’  He conceded to Congress and the world that this was a fundamental ‘flaw’ in his theory of allowing banks to regulate themselves. 

“Congress acted in the wake of this crisis to pass the Dodd-Frank Act to help protect U.S. taxpayers being forced to bail out these banks, and to protect consumers against predatory and unethical tactics that led to the financial crisis in the first place.  The Obama Administration also put in place the ‘fiduciary rule’ to protect citizens against retirement advisors with conflicts of interest.

“These reforms worked, as today’s jobs report shows.  Eight years ago, our economy was  losing almost 600,000 jobs per month.  But today, as a result of policies enacted by Democrats and the leadership of President Obama, we are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs with declining unemployment rates.

“Yet, President Trump now reportedly plans to abandon the lessons of history and give banks free rein to profit at the expense of American consumers and families, all while refusing address his own conflicts of interest with—and his massive debts to—some of these very same banks.

“This should be a wake-up call for anyone who thinks President Trump is fighting for the little guy—for middle-class American families who were exploited by these banks as they got filthy rich and plunged our nation into financial chaos.  This will be a massive gift to Wall Street billionaires by their new best friend in Washington.”

On January 11, 2017, President Trump announced that he would defy warnings from Republican and Democratic ethics experts and refuse to do what every previous president has done for decades—divest himself of his ownership interests, liquidate his business assets, and place them in a truly blind trust operated by an independent entity. 

The President has also refused to release his tax returns, which could provide additional information about his business holdings and ongoing dealings with domestic and international banks.

At the same time, Republican leaders in Congress—including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz—have repeatedly refused multiple requests to conduct basic oversight to ensure that the President’s vast global business dealings do not pose conflicts of interest or violate the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution.

 

115th Congress