Financial Regulatory Reform
At the peak of the financial crisis, we deemed many of our nation's biggest financial institutions “too big to fail” using taxpayer dollars to shield banks from the results of irresponsible investing in an effort to keep the U.S. economy afloat. Those bailouts highlighted the need for significant financial regulatory reform — laws like Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act. I will continue to monitor financial institutions to ensure we protect taxpayers’ significant investment, and never again repeat the mistakes that led to the recession.
I have always advocated for empowering and providing increased access to capital for small businesses, the sector of our economy that most closely reflects the American dream. This is why I proudly cosponsored the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which is legislation that would require the Small Business Administration to provide direct loans to small businesses, send a report to Congress on the number of prime contracts awarded by federal agencies each fiscal year to small businesses, and would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow higher tax deductions for small business start-ups and organizational expenses.
I was also proud to introduce H.R. 2981, a bill to provide funding for the establishment of small business programs at historically black colleges and universities. This legislation would award grants to those institutions to create entrepreneurship curriculum and establish a Small Business Development Center on the physical campus.
Credit Rating Agencies and Data Protection
In the complex global economy of today, it is the duty of Congress to protect Americans from being exposed to massive data breaches such as the 2017 Equifax disaster. In response to this breach, I requested, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a study by the Government Accountability Office that looked at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its ability to hold the consumer Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) accountable for how they protect and use consumers information. The report, released in February 2019, revealed major gaps in CRAs’ efforts to protect consumers private information. The federal regulatory agencies were also found to be severely hamstrung in its ability to police the industry.
The report provided strong recommendations on how to better protect consumers by giving the FTC more tools to crack down on consumer data abuses. It is also clear from the report that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must act more in line with its obligations to the American people in the wake of the financial crisis, to help Congress and State leaders effectively protect consumers.
In December 2018, my staff on the Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report that provided detailed legislative and oversight recommendations to better protect consumers from future cyberattacks. The recommendations informed members of Congress, federal agencies, and the public of what can be done to improve existing standards and guidance that have not been effectively followed.
As a result, I was proud to introduce H.R. 2545, the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren. This legislation would establish an Office of Cybersecurity at the FTC that would be responsible for the inspection and supervision of cybersecurity at CRAs. The bill would also impose mandatory penalties on CRAs for breaches involving consumer data, 50% of which would go to affected consumers.
More on Financial Regulatory Reform
Today, Senator Jeff Merkley, along with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced the Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic (SAFE) Lending Act. The SAFE Lending Act would crack down on some of the worst abuses of the payday lending industry, particularly in online payday lending, and protect consumers from deceptive and predatory practices that strip wealth from working families.
The congressman who could become President Donald Trump’s recurring political nightmare has photos on his office walls of himself with anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, pathbreaking boxer Muhammad Ali and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.
Each were fighters of a sort, and Rep. Elijah Cummings says he is, too. The Baltimore Democrat’s battles usually involve pushing back as best he can on Trump administration policies and practices.
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 7, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Senator Ben Cardin, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. John Sarbanes, and Rep. Donna Edwards (all D-MD) sent a letter urging Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray to follow Maryland’s lead to develop a final rule that will protect consumers from predatory lenders.
UNITED STATES CONGRESS
For Immediate Release
May 7, 2015
Jennifer Hoffman (Cummings): 202-226-5181
Lacey Rose (Warren): 202-224-2292
Cummings and Warren to Hold “Middle Class Prosperity Project”
Forum in Baltimore on Predatory Financial Practices and Economic Injustice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2013) - Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, as the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement in response to the Senate’s confirmation today of Richard Cordray to continue leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
You may read the full statement on the Oversight Committee website by clicking here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (Apr. 23, 2013) – Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), as the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, joined Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) in sending a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg urging them to take immediate joint regulatory action to prohibit banks from trapping customers in high-cost payday loans.