June 20th, 2009
03:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama takes on criticism of proposed new agency

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama fought back against criticism of his plan for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency Saturday, telling Americans that the new department would prevent them from being confused or deceived by lenders.

The proposed agency - one element of the massive overhaul of financial sector regulations the administration unveiled last week - has come under fire from industry and other critics who say it will introduce unnecessary government intervention into everyday business practices.

"[T]hese are interests that have benefited from a system which allowed ordinary Americans to be exploited," he said. "These interests argue against reform even as millions of people are facing the consequences of this crisis in their own lives. These interests defend business-as-usual even though we know that it was business-as-usual that allowed this crisis to take place."

Obama argued Saturday in his weekly Web and radio address that his proposal would provide a vital layer of consumer protection.

"It is true that this [financial] crisis was caused in part by Americans who took on too much debt and took out loans they simply could not afford," he said. "But there are also millions of Americans who signed contracts they did not always understand offered by lenders who did not always tell the truth."

The president said the agency would also have the power to mandate easy-to-understand paperwork, and eliminate "ridiculous contracts – pages of fine print that no one can figure out."

The administration’s proposal is currently being considered by Congress.

In the weekly Republican radio address, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argued against the president’s health care package, saying it was being pushed through Congress far too quickly. “Once again in the health care debate, it’s rush and spend, rush and spend. Americans want health care reform, but they want the right health care reform. And that means taking the time and the care necessary to get it right.

“Against Republican advice, they rushed the stimulus. We shouldn’t rush again on something as important, and costly, as health care.”

The president has said he would like to see a comprehensive health care reform package passed by Congress before the August recess.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Deregulation started by Keatin 5 many decades ago.

    Regulation is needed to prevent corporations from robbing us all.

    June 20, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Reading and understanding financial instruments which consumers sign is primarily their responsiiblity. Outright fraud and unfair trade practices are mainly state law matters. The Nanny State can't protect people from their own ignorance.

    June 20, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. R in Maine

    TSA engages in un-American criminal activity while claiming that they are representing the policy of the country. TSA is much more effective than the terrorists in violating the right of United States citizens.

    June 20, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Reggie

    Pres Obama, get used to criticism. It comes with the job. By the way, you are in for all kinds of criticism based upon your reckless actions/policies.

    June 20, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. patricia campbell

    Obama needs to quite taking over America. Back off my health plan and bank. Why should I trust the government to do anything right when they can't clean their own house. They are nothing show of robbers and terrorists.

    June 20, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. lefty loosy

    Nice to see that Obama's bedside manner is above board unlike
    Bill Clinton . whose bedside manner was sleazy

    June 20, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. HJA

    We need this. These people at the banks and credit card businesses are crooks. Before I used the internet to pay they claimed it took 2 weeks or longer for mail to get to them. I finally called when I got socked with a $45 late fee. They processed it on a Sunday the day after it was due. " We work every day of the week processing payment". That what they said. When I pointed out the USPO is closed on Sunday so they had to have my payment the day it was due I got about 5 seconds of silence. Then "We'll take that charge off right away, Thank you for calling". End of call.

    June 20, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Champly

    This Marxist wants to own the entire economy, top to bottom. Betcha he will refuse to leave office at the end of his term. Marxists do not give up power peacefully. Never.

    June 20, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. S M R

    It is important that we take control of big business to eliminate fraud. The right balks this Agency because they are pro deregulation and connected to fraud of tax payers monies. Mitch and his kind are what is wrong with America.

    June 20, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Ryan Wing

    There really should be someone protecting consumers. I don't understand what the criticism of a consumer protection department would be ... it makes it harder to scam people? Only the scammers would argue against that.

    June 20, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. dimes1

    Hey if you are unemployed the government is hiring!

    Gee we need a new agency for everything, government is just too small and we are too dumb to make any decisions for ourselves. More government I say! there can never be enough government!

    June 20, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Of course they do. What do you expect from a party that drove this economy to the brink of ANOTHER GREAT DEPRESSION and who has no ideas to get us out.

    From day 1, that is all they have done is to criticize and say NO.

    I hope the GOP becomes instinct like the fossils they are.

    June 20, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. JMilton

    The quiet socialist agenda continues with no hard-pressing questions from mainstream media.

    June 20, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. ib

    Obama is always blasting people who don't bow down to him and his every demand. This like everything else he does; allows the gov. to take more controll of our daily lives. Wake Up people if you don't you will live in under total gov controll by the time King Obama gets through.

    June 20, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Reggie from LA

    Now let's be reasonable here. If we can find fault with the truth that the President is presenting here we are either very blind, hypocritical, brainwashed or unaffected by recent bank failures. Follow this. GOVERNMENT. To have governance. When we don't have active watch of our money, do we not believe that some firms won't make self serving decisions with it? Previous administration relaxed the rules on financial firm competition and limits. Get a clear understanding of how minimizing "restrictive government" oversight (also known to some as "BIG Government") contributed significantly to our financial system woes...that goes for any issues that surface. Research, research, research before you join the crowd. Opposition to better regulation is like having someone tell us, "Hey!! Put that money back on the table.

    June 20, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Better than Bush and his henchmen lying to Americans and invading Iraq for NOTHING.....


    June 20, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. decent american

    no... he doesnt want to run everything in this country. why would anyone think that?

    June 20, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Mark

    Now, more than ever, we need a president with EXPERIENCE. Our current one does not and is failing miserably.

    June 20, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Let's see: a Border czar, an Ecology czar, an Education czar, a Health czar and now a new agency. Who knew when the President said he's stimulus plan would create around 600,000 new jobs, he meant in Federal government alone!

    June 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. LouAz

    The Flat Earth Party had 8 years to do something about Health Care and all we got was legislation dictated by the Pharmos. I now get six pages of "code" from my Insurance (sic) telling me I got a 30 day supply of anti-acid last month !
    Congress, do something, anything NOW !

    June 20, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Dan

    I am ashamed to say that I voted for this man. I'm sure I'm not the only one either. I beileve I am slowly becoming a Republican.

    June 20, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Independent

    Another agency??? Every administration introduces a new agency. When will it stop!!!

    June 20, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Ernie in LA

    Did you know that HR1388 passed today while Obama took everyones attention away with his Father's Day speech.BTW, where was Michelle on Mother's Day?

    June 20, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Charlie in Maine

    You go sir. I doid not hire you to make the powers that be happy. Get to it.

    June 20, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. sk

    I don't need him looking out for my financial business. If people don't understand the process of mortgages, etc. get an attorney. The Obama goverment has involved themselves in too much as it is. No more. I thought Obama wanted less goverment??!!

    June 20, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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