The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director
Office: 202-546-9707, x314

Warren, Consumers Win At First Hearing

CFPB Leader Calls For “Better Way,” Not More Regulation


Statement of U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski on today's House Financial Services Committee Hearing on

Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

"Professor Elizabeth Warren's first testimony since getting the job of setting up the CFPB was a slam-dunk victory for consumers. She explained clearly that the financial meltdown that ravaged the economy was fueled by unfair and predatory practices that left some consumers without homes, some without jobs and everyone with less equity in their own homes and less money in their retirement accounts. She described the cost of not protecting the public as a price too high to pay.

"But, she didn't call for regulation for regulation's sake. She said that the CFPB would seek a "better way." We can only hope that members of Congress listen to her, not to the special interests who have unfairly demonized her. They don't want any consumer protections, despite the wreckage that a decade of minimal oversight left the rest of us with.

"Yet, at the behest of those powerful Wall Street special interests, the U.S. House has already voted to cut the CFPB budget, before it even starts work. It is now up to our U.S. Senators to guarantee that the CFPB is protected from budget cuts, so that it can protect consumers and the economy. The CFPB was established as part of Wall Street reform to be a consumer cop on the beat. Let's not allow Wall Street to kneecap the CFPB, the first federal financial agency with only one job, protecting consumers."

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.