Release Date: Apr 14, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Arkansas Voters Want Consumer Protection Without Hurting Jobs and Main Street
U.S. Chamber Poll Shows Unease With Consumer Financial Protection Agency
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a statewide poll showing that Arkansas voters overwhelmingly oppose the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of Arkansas voters say that existing agencies should "do their jobs, improve enforcement, and better coordinate their efforts," rather than establish a "new consumer financial protection agency in the federal government." The poll of 500 Arkansas voters was conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates from April 11 to 12 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38%.
"The message is clear—Arkansans do not want a new federal bureaucracy with more government employees paid for by American taxpayers," said David Hirschman, president and CEO of the Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC). "Arkansans agree that a new $410 million government agency with sweeping powers to regulate the state's businesses that had nothing to do with the financial crisis is the wrong way to fix our regulatory system and help our economy," said Hirschmann.
Nearly three-fourths (76%) of the respondents want the CFPA to be led by a bipartisan commission instead of a single director appointed by the president as proposed in Chairman Dodd's version of the financial reform legislation. Fifty-four percent are concerned that Congress will rush through a bill without getting bipartisan agreement on important changes, with just 31% concerned that Congress will not act quickly enough.
According to Hirschmann, "There are obvious concerns with the broad and unchecked powers that a director of the CFPA would have. Arkansas voters want checks and balances factored into consumer protection, and they believe that a bipartisan commission is the best path forward. They also know that financial reform is too important to ram through without broad consensus and without studying its impact on consumers and small businesses."
According to the U.S. Chamber, the proposed CFPA would be able to regulate merchants, retailers, doctors, public utilities, or any other business that permits payment in more than four installments or assesses a late fee.
The U.S. Chamber has long called for modernizing our financial regulatory system to protect consumers, help ensure abundant, affordable access to capital for individuals and businesses, and provide the basis of new economic growth to help create millions of jobs. The Chamber has proposed a Consumer Protection Council to coordinate regulatory and enforcement actions, eliminate gaps, provide consistent disclosure standards, and identify areas in which new regulations are necessary.
Since its inception three years ago, the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress, and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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