Washington, DC—Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, Senators Jack Reed and Michael Bennet held a press conference this afternoon to discuss how Senate Democrats are committed to standing up for small businesses and holding Wall Street accountable. They were joined by Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Frank Knapp, President of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce; and Brian England, owner of the British-American Auto Care in Columbia, MD. Trillions in wealth was gambled away and hundreds of thousands of small businesses were forced to close because our financial system lacked the necessary safeguards to protect Main Street. In a signed statement, hundreds of small businesses urged Congress to support Wall Street reform with strong consumer protections. Democrats are committed to holding Wall Street accountable and protecting the middle class.
“When this bill is enacted it will provide the strongest consumer financial protections in history,” Senator Durbin said. “There will be strict new regulations to stop Wall Street from gambling with our financial security. And our bill puts consumers in control, giving them the information they need to make the financial choices that are right for them. It’s time we make the financial system work for people on Main Street, not just big banks on Wall Street.”
Senator Reed said: “We need to move forward with Wall Street reform to protect taxpayers and prevent another financial crisis,” said Senator Reed. “Every day that goes by without changing these laws leaves hardworking Americans and the U.S. economy vulnerable to another crisis.”
“Washington has to get its act together to pass Wall Street reform that prevents the type of risky practices that wrecked our financial system and brought lending, particularly to small business, to a screeching halt,” Senator Bennet said. “If we don’t create safeguards for consumers and protect American taxpayers from having to prop up banks that are ‘too big to fail,’ we will continue to run the risk of another financial crisis.”
Margot Dorfman said: “The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and our over 500,000 members, call upon Congress to enact comprehensive financial reform that will stop shadow banking, stop unscrupulous betting against American families and businesses, and stop corporate and CEO bonus-ridden bailouts.”
“Small business owners work far too hard and play by the rules to deserve this big bank-made disaster,” said Frank Knapp. “And that’s why the business organizations here today and those that couldn’t be with us like Business for Shared Prosperity speak with one voice. Support small business or protect the big banks and Wall Street. This should be an easy decision for every Senator.”
Brian England said: “We founded our business on making sure cars are safe and reliable – that’s our responsibility and our commitment to our customers. Financial institutions should have the same responsibility to their customers. Banks are supposed to look after your money. They haven’t done that, and we’ve all paid a terrible price as a result. That’s why I support strong financial reforms.”