As Congress considers legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is leading a group of 40 state attorneys general in urging federal lawmakers to uphold the role of the states in enforcing consumer protection laws.
“Attorneys general are living and breathing the fight against the abusive financial practices impacting people of their states,” McKenna said. “The two Washingtons each have an important role in protecting consumers and businesses. But when it comes to understanding and rapidly responding to the economic issues affecting our communities, the states’ abilities are unmatched.”
McKenna and Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa organized a letter from the attorneys general to key Congressional leaders. It asked Congress to provide states with concurrent authority to enforce federal law, and to allow them to enforce state consumer protection laws for state- and federally chartered financial institutions.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) plans to circulate a draft bill of sweeping financial reforms as soon as next week. According to the Washington Post, “The legislation, which is still being finalized, would consolidate federal responsibility for banking oversight, now assigned to four agencies, into a single regulator. And, compared with the plan rolled out by the White House, Dodd's measure would grant less power to the Federal Reserve to curb activities that pose a risk to the entire financial system, the officials said.”
Meanwhile, the House Financial Services Committee has moved forward on its own version of the bill.