Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is leading a group of 40 state attorneys general in urging Congress to uphold the role of the states in enforcing consumer protection laws.
“Attorneys general are living and breathing the fight against the abusive financial practices impacting people of their states,” McKenna said. “The two Washingtons each have an important role in protecting consumers and businesses. But when it comes to understanding and rapidly responding to the economic issues affecting our communities, the states’ abilities are unmatched.”
McKenna and Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa organized a letter from the attorneys general to key Congressional leaders as Congress is considering legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
The letter asked Congress to provide states with concurrent authority to enforce federal law, and to allow them to enforce state consumer protection laws for state- and federally chartered financial institutions.
“Rather than limiting the states’ role in consumer financial protection, as some have advocated,” the letter said, “we believe Congress should encourage an active and effective partnership between the states and federal financial regulatory agencies to the ultimate benefit of all consumers.”
“Weakened consumer protections and limited enforcement authority already have damaged many consumers and the economy in general,” the letter said. “Early state action can prevent a local problem from becoming a national one.”
“Allowing the states to enforce federal standards will maximize government resources, promote honest competition and deter potential violators,” the state attorneys general said.