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Geoff Greenwood, Communications Director
515-281-6699, geoff.greenwood@iowa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 13, 2010

Miller Urges Senate to Pass Financial Reform Bill

(IOWA CITY, Iowa) Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller urged the U.S. Senate to pass sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system and protect Iowa consumers.

“This bill will do so much good for Iowa consumers,” Miller said.  “I encourage Senator Charles Grassley to support it.”

The legislation (see summary), which emerged from a House-Senate conference committee and passed the U.S. House, restructures how regulators oversee the financial industry, particularly big banks and Wall Street.  The bill includes the establishment of an independent federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), giving regulators power to protect consumers from abuses by the financial industry.

“The CFPB would put Wall Street and big banks on notice that they no longer have a blank check when it comes to unfair and deceptive practices in consumer loans and credit cards,” said Miller, who led an effort by a large group of state attorneys general to create the CFPB.  “This legislation will allow federal and state consumer protection authorities to work closely together and to protect Iowans and Americans in mortgage, credit card and other financial transactions like never before.”

The CFPB would also oversee lending by many of the big institutions whose irresponsible lending practices nearly collapsed the economy.  The financial meltdown led to thousands of Iowans losing their jobs and, in many cases, their mortgages.  “Financial regulators, who were tied to the financial industry, looked out for the industry.  Now they will look out for consumers,” Miller said.

Miller applauds Senator Tom Harkin, who was a member of the House-Senate conference committee, for his support of the bill.  Sen. Grassley supported the Senate version, and Miller urges Grassley to continue to support Iowa consumers.

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