June 20th, 2009
03:24 PM ET
13 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. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    NO more new agencies.
    NO more new Czars of this, that and everything.
    NO more O'government meddling in EVERY aspect of our lives.
    NO more O'government give aways or TRILLIONS of our hard earned tax dollars to his favored groups (e.g. ACORN) in the name of "stimulus".
    NO more O'government taking over our private industries and destroying America's engine – free enterprise.
    NO more weak and "deeply troubled" lack of leadership in foreign events.
    NO more Obama...!

    June 20, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Dee Dee

    It is time for everyone to step back & focus on the real problems.
    1st of all, we got into this mess because of DEREGULATION. Any business big or small has to have guidelines & abide by the law! This has not happened. Big compaines, rather it be banks,insurance, pharmacuticals,oil, they all are in it for their own good @ our expense. It was the Bush administration that got us into this mess. And they don't want to except any responsibility for it & we & the media need to hold them more accoountable. I know the Republicians would rather blame anyone but themselves but be honest. We have had criminal acts done,torture, corruption etc & Bush & his cronies are guilty. One thing you should think about before you critize Obama is that you had better be thankful that he is dragging his feet about the former administration being investigated & being charged with criminal activities. Think before you speak, support this country & keep your negative, biased, & false comments to yourselves. You are not helping us trying to improve our image, which has been badly damaged by the opposition party, the Repubs. Yes we are footing the enormous bill that we have now, but is your President B that put us in this position. Support our country, regardless if your are Democrat or Republician. And if you don't like it here, go to Iraq or Iran. We NEED & HAVE TO HAVE CHEKKS & BALANCES!!

    June 20, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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