October 14, 2008


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, today announced that he is supportive of the Administration’s plan to use the authority granted by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed by Congress last month.  This legislation expanded the range of options that federal agencies can use to intervene in the economy, including direct liquidity injections into our nation’s banks.  This assistance will be subject to the protections Congress put into the law, including warrants, limits on executive compensation, and a prohibition on golden parachutes for companies receiving government assistance.  Dodd met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson earlier today to discuss the details of the plan.
Dodd also announced several steps he believes Congress must take to help America’s small businesses and families return to prosperity and growth.   Dodd intends to incorporate the following principles, focused on American consumers, into a legislative package to help reverse this crisis and revive our economy:
·         Homeownership Preservation: 9,800 families enter foreclosure each day.  We should declare a temporary moratorium on foreclosures so that lenders, servicers and homeowners can come together to try to restructure their loans on terms agreeable to all.
·         Stop Predatory Lending: The Federal Reserve’s rules barring unfair and deceptive mortgage lending practices are a step in the right direction.  We need additional legislation to stop these practices, which have triggered the greatest financial crisis in at least eight decades.
·         Credit Card Reform:  The credit card industry is characterized by behavior toward consumers by many issuers that is considered abusive and predatory.  These practices in the area of mortgage lending have had devastating effects on consumers and the country – to avoid future economic crises, we must reform credit card marketing and billing practices.
·         Bankruptcy Reform:  It is irrational and unjust that a family that owns one home receives less protection under our laws than a family that owns two or more homes.  The average American homeowner should be able to seek the protection of bankruptcy court to save his or her home.
“I am thankful to Secretary Paulson for meeting with me today,” said Dodd.  “In developing the financial rescue package, we in Congress recognized the need to attack this crisis on multiple fronts.  I am encouraged that the Administration has subscribed to that philosophy, and am optimistic that these efforts will help unfreeze our markets so that Americans across the country will be able to access the affordable credit that is needed to buy homes, cars and college education for their children. 
“I support the Treasury, the Fed and the FDIC using all of the tools at their disposal – but our work isn’t done until we have focused on the financial health not only of the American financial sector but also of the American consumer.  In my opinion, no stimulus legislation that Congress takes up, and no regulatory modernization proposal that we draft, will be complete and adequate unless they contain these four essential components.
“In addition to our focus on these vital objectives, the Banking Committee will play an active role in overseeing the Administration’s implementation of its plans. Congress has shown its ability to act very quickly, and I will remain vigilant in ensuring that we provide adequate tools as needed throughout the crisis.  The path to financial stability and security will not be easy, but we are making progress and believe this effort will help us overcome the challenges that lie ahead.”