Liberals like Rep. Barney Frank have long sought strict financial reform
especially the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency,
but have so far failed to win sufficient support from moderates. Enter
the military. Though historically conservative, the Department of
Defense has come out on behalf of the CFPA and financial regulation.
Defense Undersecretary Clifford Stanley wrote in a letter to the
Treasury Department, "We believe the intervention of the [Consumer
Financial Protection Agency] in overseeing auto financing and sales for
service members will help protect them and will assist us in reducing
the concerns they have over their financial well-being."The American Prospect's Tim Fernholz explains
that the military is worried about predatory financial practices that
have plagued its members. He says DoD support could go a long way:
military is obviously one of the most highly regarded institutions in
American life, and when it weighs in on behalf of service members,
people tend to listen. If the Department of Defense believes that the
Consumer Financial Protection Agency should cover auto lenders, among
other non-bank lenders that some reform opponents want to exempt
regulation, that could go a long way towards convincing reluctant
senators to support robust consumer protection.
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