WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued the following statement after the Senate voted down an amendment to the financial reform effort that would have protected Wall Street businesses, allowing banks to continue to take advantage of consumers.  In recent days, such national organizations as the AFL-CIO, AARP and Americans for Financial Reform have come out against the amendment. It failed by a vote of 38 to 61.

"One of the key causes of the financial crisis was the complete lack of adequate consumer protection, especially in the area of mortgages.  To help prevent this from happening again, Senator Dodd drafted a bill that includes real protections from unfair and abusive financial products ranging from credit cards, to mortgages, to high interest pay day loans.  The amendment just voted down would have gutted those improvements by keeping those who failed to protect consumers in the run up to the financial meltdown in charge of consumer protection. This is nothing more than a case of the fox guarding the henhouse," said Harkin.

"We must restore a balance between the financial industry and consumers in this country. For too long, our financial system and its regulators have fundamentally failed to protect the hardworking families on Main Street from unfair and abusive practices.  This amendment would have tipped the scales even farther toward the financial sector.  I will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken the protections like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

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