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Standing up for Consumer Protection
It's no secret that a lot of big financial institutions built their
business models last decade on gambling in the Wall Street casino and
exploiting their customers. The Dodd Frank Act was designed to put an
end to all that and put banks back in the business of working for Main
Street, not the other way around. But since the law passed there's
been a constant effort to chip away at its reforms and protections, and
those efforts are kicking into overdrive following the 2014 elections.
Jeff was recently named the top Democrat on the Financial Institutions
and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee -
putting him in a powerful position
on-consumer-protection-subcommittee> to fight against Wall Street's
efforts to return to the dangerous practices that torched the economy
and stripped wealth from so many working families.
From this new position, Jeff will be at the center of battles to stand
up for working families, push back on the big banks, and protect
essential consumer reforms. And he'll be leading the charge to protect
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - which has already returned
more than $4.6 billion to consumers in its first three-and-a-half years
- keeping more money in the pockets of middle class families.
Sounding the Alarm on Dangerous E-Cigarette Findings
Jeff has been leading the charge against the unregulated electronic
cigarette industry that's targeting our kids with insidious flavors of
liquid nicotine like "Chocolate Treat" and "Peachy Keen." So when a
Portland State University study last week found that e-cigarette
"vaping" could expose users to startling amounts of the dangerous
chemical formaldehyde - 5 to 15 times the exposure from traditional
cigarettes! - Jeff got to work.
Leading a group of five Senators, Jeff quickly brought these alarming
ging-fda-to-regulate-electronic-cigarettes> to the attention of the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and urged the agency to act with
urgency to issue long-overdue regulations for e-cigarettes and other
tobacco products, including tobacco candy.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and, with the number of high
schoolers using e-cigarettes having tripled since 2011, it's urgent
that we act now to protect the health of our kids.
A Budget that Works for our Middle Class - and for Oregon
This week, the President released his 2016 budget blueprint for the
federal government. A budget is a statement of priorities, and Jeff was
glad to see the President prioritize the strong investments in
education and infrastructure that are necessary to grow and strengthen
our middle class.
This year's budget also contained good news for Oregon with the
inclusion of two very important items: a badly-needed five year
extension of Secure Rural Schools payments to Oregon's timber
communities, and common-sense reforms to how we fund fighting
wildfires. Right now, we under-budget for firefighting and make up the
difference during emergencies by shifting money from wildfire
prevention. This creates a vicious cycle, robbing wildfire prevention
to pay for wildfires that are already burning, which then leads to
worse fires the next year. That's why Jeff has pushed for bipartisan
reforms that would stop shortchanging prevention funds and start
treating the biggest wildfires like any other natural disaster - which
is exactly what they are.
Read more in the Bend Bulletin: "President's 2016 Budget Would
Reinstate Timber Payments"
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