KANJORSKI DISCUSSES HOW WALL STREET REFORM LAW BENEFITS SMALL BUSINESSES
Kanjorski Helped Lead Congressional Efforts to Write, Negotiate, and Pass Historic Wall Street Reform Law WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, spoke to members of the Greater Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Pittston, and Scranton Chambers of Commerce about the benefits for small businesses of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Congressman Kanjorski worked diligently to draft, negotiate, and pass this landmark law, and he joined President Obama on stage in Washington as the President signed the bill into law on July 21. The new law — which provides the most sweeping financial services regulatory reforms since the reforms since the Great Depression — works to better protect America’s families and small businesses from the reckless behavior of Wall Street titans and prevent financial companies from threatening the stability of our economy. “As we have learned from the past two years, we are all interconnected. Too many families and small businesses on Main Streets across the country have directly felt the dire effects of Wall Street’s risky and deceitful behavior,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “This Wall Street reform law, which I worked to write, will work to better protect each and every American family and small business from facing the troubling financial situations that far too many have unfortunately recently experienced through no fault of their own. The law includes the Kanjorski amendment which works to end the era of ‘too big to fail’ by authorizing regulators to rein in and break up risky financial institutions. This amendment will help to prevent future bailouts to ensure that no financial firm can be allowed to endanger the whole economy, as we experienced in the fall of 2008. I am proud of this new law and the comprehensive reforms it takes to safeguard our financial system and create a stable economy for our local businesses for years to come. Too many people have struggled financially as a result of this crisis, and we must do everything possible to prevent such circumstances from happening again. This new law works to do just that.” “I would like to thank Congressman Kanjorski for providing this opportunity for the members of our region’s business community to learn more about this key issue – one that is of real significance to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s businesses and citizens,” said Todd Vonderheid, Chamber President/CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry. “The Congressman’s leadership during the past two years in drafting and passing the Wall Street reform legislation allows him to provide valuable insight on this topic to area business leaders.” The new Wall Street reform law includes many provisions that will specifically benefit the interests of small businesses operating in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Some of these provisions include: Preventing future bailouts and ending the era of “too big to fail.”The Kanjorski “too big to fail” amendment empowers federal regulators to rein in and dismantle financial firms that are so large, inter-connected, concentrated, or risky that their collapse would put at risk the entire American economic system. The Kanjorski amendment and other provisions of the law provide regulators with sweeping powers to help avoid future taxpayer-funded bailouts, prevent financial companies from threatening the stability of the U.S. economy, and protect the American small businesses from once again experiencing the financial turmoil of the past two years. As a result of this provision, American taxpayers should no longer be on the hook for bailouts, as financial companies would not be able to become “too big to fail.” These changes will help small financial firms to better compete with big financial conglomerates. Closing loopholes for large companies to ensure small businesses can access credit.The new law also eliminates loopholes for large companies which allowed risky and abusive practices by large financial corporations to go unnoticed. As a result, large companies will no longer be able to take deceptive actions that could negatively impact the entire financial system, including small businesses throughout the country. Too many small businesses were unable to access needed credit because of Wall Street’s reckless actions, but this new law will ensure that small businesses continue to have access to credit so that they can grow and thrive. Preventing financial burdens for small businesses.The Wall Street reform law creates a new independent watchdog, housed in the Federal Reserve, with the authority to ensure that American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards and other financial products. The new law also protects small non-financial businesses from unintentional regulation by the new bureau. Therefore, the gas stations, grocers, pharmacists, florists, barbers, convenience stores, and gift shops on Main Street will not have to comply with burdensome new regulations that could have caused serious economic strains. Protecting small businesses from unreasonable fees.The new law creates new protections for small businesses because too many of them are facing out-of-control fees that banks and other credit and debit card issuers charge these businesses every time a consumer’s debit or prepaid-card is swiped. As a result, small businesses stand to save billions of dollars, as debit swipe fees amount to about $20 billion a year. Allowing access to interest on business checking accounts.The new Wall Street reform law eliminates an out-of-date law that prevented small businesses from earning interest on their business checking accounts. For decades, this archaic law hurt small businesses that could have used interest earnings to help defray other costs. The old law also negatively impacted the U.S. economy, and Congressman Kanjorski worked for many years to change this law. Under the new Wall Street reform law, small companies will earn interest on their business checking accounts to earn more income and help their businesses grow. Increasing deposit insurance for small businesses.The new law will create a permanent increase to $250,000 of deposit insurance that will help community banks and credit unions to compete with larger competitors. The permanent increase in federal deposit insurance will also protect the assets of America’s small businesses. Protecting small appraisers.In response to housing fraud in the Poconos, Congressman Kanjorski wrote a bill to reform appraisal regulation and Congress incorporated this bill into the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, these appraisal reforms will help small, independent fee appraisers to compete against large companies and get paid a fair rate for their services. In recent years, many have complained that appraisal management companies and others have taken advantage of fee appraisers and often underpaid them. The Wall Street reform law levels the playing field for small appraisers. In addition to the small business reforms outlined above, Congressman Kanjorski wrote many other key provisions included in the Wall Street reform law. These provisions include comprehensive reforms to better protect investors and enhance the powers of securities regulators, requirements to register and regulate hedge fund managers, provisions to reform the operations and regulation of credit rating agencies, and the establishment of the first federal office focused on insurance policy.