Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference Following Vote on Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Jun 30, 2010, 21:11 ET from Office of the Speaker of the House

WASHINGTON, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Congressman Paul Kanjorski , Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy were joined by Dennis Lane of Massachusetts and Alene Kristal of New Jersey for a press conference this evening in the Capitol following the House passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Below is a transcript of the Speaker's opening remarks and select quotes from Dennis Lane and Alene Kristal:  

"Good evening.  

"As our colleagues and guests gather here, I am pleased to stand here on a day when the House of Representatives took a stand for America's families, workers, and businesses, and consumers.  That's our goal every day.  Today we took a very substantial stand.  We put our middle-class first, enacted the toughest set of Wall Street reforms in generations.

"In passing the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, named by the colleagues on the conference committee — Chairman Chris Dodd, Chairman Barney Frank — the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  

"In passing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the House made it clear: no longer will recklessness on Wall Street cause joblessness on Main Street.  No longer will the risky behavior of a few threaten the economy of the whole.  

"When the Senate soon acts on this historic legislation and the President signs it into law, the country will enter an era of transparency for our financial markets, tough oversight of Wall Street, and strong consumer protections on Main Street.  

"In acting today, we stood up for people like Dennis Lane, who has owned his 7-11 store in Massachusetts for 36 years.  Yet, because of rising swipe fees, last year his credit card company made more money from his store than he did and he will tell us the story.  Dennis took action — he fought to make sure swipe fee reform would be part of our overall package.  With reform, we will review swipe fees to ensure fairness and Dennis and small business workers like him will be better off.  But you will hear directly from Dennis on that score.

"Alene Kristal, a retired attorney from New Jersey, who saw 40 percent of her retirement savings disappear and who no longer qualifies for a modification of her home loan.  She can't keep up with her bills and her home value has dropped.  With the passage of the Wall Street reform bill, Alene, seniors nationwide, and millions of families will know that their retirement and college savings for their families are safer from the reckless whims of Wall Street.  

"Over the past two years, the financial crisis has struck at the foundation of our nation's economy strength — our jobs, our homes, and our live savings.  Today, we have restored the cornerstones in our financial stability and we have scored a critical victory for the American people."  

Dennis Lane Quotes:

"...For years and years and years, credit card swipe fees and interchange fees have been the second highest expense in my operation, second only to labor.  And the most heinous thing about these expenses is that I have nothing to say about them and I can't control them.  And for years and years and years, they have been my second highest expense…I think we just need to make this fair and we need to make it equitable."

"Main Street businesses have been urging Congress to do the right thing and they've been listening.  The fight is not over.  We need to get this passed in the Senate so small businesses and consumers nationwide can start to see the benefits.  I'm asking the Senate and my Senators—Senator Kerry and Senator Scott Brown—to do what's right for Main Street..."  

"...I believe that we are making history here.  And this is probably the proudest moment in my life as a retailer..."

Alene Kristal Quotes:

"…However, my whole life changed in the fall of 2008, when within weeks of the financial collapse, I lost over 40 percent of my retirement portfolio.  Now these events were extremely distressing on a personal level, and I was even more disturbed to learn that the financial collapse was due almost entirely to the unprecedented greed and unparalleled risk taken by members of the financial community…

"The Frank-Dodd bill and its creation of a consumer protection agency should provide consumers with the kid of assistance and protection that I and millions of others have never had before.  I want to thank Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives for voting today to pass this critical legislation.  And I urge the Members of Senate to put their politics aside and do the same.  This is indeed a historic occasion and I am most honored to be a part of it."

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