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SCRANTON, Oct. 20 – Local residents and statewide consumer group PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, called for meaningful financial reform in a petition demonstration in downtown Scranton today.
Passersby demonstrated their support at the corner of Spruce St. and Penn Ave. for the passage of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) through Congress by signing petitions and taking “photo petitions” with the inflatable Consumer Watchdog.
The event took place the day before a crucial Financial Services Committee vote in the House of Representatives. The Financial Services Committee, including Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania’s 11th district, will vote tomorrow on HR3126, which contains the CFPA, a consumer regulation agency with regard to financial products and services.
“Our economy is in crisis, due in no small part to the experiment with little to no regulation of the financial services industry,” said Megan DeSmedt, state director of PennPIRG. “We need a federal financial watchdog devoted solely to looking out for the interests of consumers.”
Rep. Paul Kanjorski, whose district includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and other parts of northeastern Pennsylvania, will play a key role in the passage of financial reform legislation through Congress as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
“Congressman Kanjorski has the opportunity to stand up for consumers and the health of the economy by supporting the CFPA,” DeSmedt said. “His constituents are here today to urge him to support average consumers, not banks, and restore accountability in the financial system.”
Local CFPA supporters posed for photo petitions, holding signs bearing pro-financial reform slogans, such as “People, not banks!” and “We need a watchdog! Pass the CFPA!” An inflatable consumer “watchdog” was also present for the event.
DeSmedt said, “For years, a host of national regulators looked out for the banks, mortgage brokers, and Wall Street firms while they took risky actions, chasing profits with our money. The Financial Services Committee and the rest of Congress must protect consumers and pass reform.”
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PennPIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization and is a member of the U.S. PIRG federation.
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