Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for their leadership. It wouldn’t have happened without them.
Passing this bill was no easy task. To get there, we had to overcome the furious lobbying of an array of powerful interest groups and a partisan minority determined to block change. So the members who are here today, both on the stage and in the audience, they have done a great service in devoting so much time and expertise to this effort, to looking out for the public interests and not the special interests. And I also want to thank the three Republican senators who put partisanship aside -- judged this bill on the merits, and voted for reform. We’re grateful to them. And the Republican House members.
Now, let’s put this in perspective. The fact is, the financial industry is central to our nation’s ability to grow, to prosper, to compete and to innovate. There are a lot of banks that understand and fulfill this vital role, and there are a whole lot of bankers who want to do right -- and do right -- by their customers. This reform will help foster innovation, not hamper it. It is designed to make sure that everybody follows the same set of rules, so that firms compete on price and quality, not on tricks and not on traps.
It demands accountability and responsibility from everyone. It provides certainty to everybody, from bankers to farmers to business owners to consumers. And unless your business model depends on cutting corners or bilking your customers, you’ve got nothing to fear from reform.
Now, for all those Americans who are wondering what Wall Street reform means for you, here’s what you can expect. If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print. What often happens as a result is that many Americans are caught by hidden fees and penalties, or saddled with loans they can’t afford.
That’s what happened to Robin Fox, hit with a massive rate increase on her credit card balance even though she paid her bills on time. That’s what happened to Andrew Giordano, who discovered hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees on
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