Reports to the Valley - December 2009
On December 11, the House of Representatives passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most sweeping financial regulatory reform package in decades. As a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services, Sherman played an important role in crafting this legislation. These reforms will help ensure that consumers, investors, small businesses and everyday Americans are no longer taken advantage of by the big institutions on Wall Street. Among other reforms, this legislation would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
Over the summer, the Treasury Department proposed the original draft of this legislation. It included provisions that could have only been called “TARP on steroids” – giving unelected officials in the Federal Government permanent, unlimited authority to bail-out the largest firms on Wall Street. Sherman took the lead on preventing the Executive Branch from getting this unlimited authority to bail out giants on Wall Street. Seven of his anti-bailout amendments were included when the bill passed the House.
When Congress convenes again this month to begin the 2010 session, it will be faced with some of the most important choices to face our country in decades. Please let Congressman Sherman know where you stand on these and other important issues.
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In 2009 Congressman Sherman worked to pass legislation to improve the economy, protect consumers, and provide tax relief and other assistance to families and small businesses.
Credit Card Reform
Sherman cosponsored the Credit Card Bill of Rights, which will rein in some of the most abusive credit card practices. The new law bans retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances, double-cycle billing (charging interest twice for balances paid on time) and due-date gimmicks. This bill is now law and will go into effect this year.
Helping Homebuyers, Small Businesses and Unemployed Workers
Sherman strongly supported the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act that extends the $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit through April 2010, and helps Valley businesses by allowing them to apply 2009 losses against profits earned in prior years. The bill also extends unemployment benefits for up to an additional 20 weeks in California. President Obama has signed this bill into law in November.
Congressman Brad Sherman supported the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act to protect consumers from the worst lending practices and to end the abuses that helped to cause the mortgage crisis. This legislation passed the House and awaits action in the Senate.
Improving Student Aid
Congressman Sherman helped pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act through the House of Representatives. This bill would provide for the largest increase in student aid in history. It will increase Pell Grants and provide low interest rates on student loans. This legislation awaits action in the Senate.