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Pols must back consumer protection

A year after the financial meltdown and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer-financed bailouts, American consumers still lack significant protections from the irresponsible and predatory practices that caused the Great Recession. The lack of financial industry oversight is a root cause of our financial crisis and must be addressed.

Currently, an ineffective bureaucracy of seven federal agencies is charged with protecting consumers. President Barack Obama proposed creating a “Consumer Financial Protection Agency” to protect consumers when it comes to mortgages, loans, bank accounts and credit cards.

U.S. Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) must champion this proposal. New York state has been devastated by foreclosures and job losses. New Yorkers are struggling to pay mortgages, loans and credit card bills.

A key committee vote will take place in September. Our Queens representatives must support the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act (HR 3126) and preserve the right of New York state to pass and enforce its own consumer protection laws. We need a federal agency looking out for us, not the mega-banks and Wall Street.

Reed Dunlea

Project Coordinator

NYPIRG at Queens College

Flushing

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