Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) spoke out against the Wrong CHOICE Act during today's Financial Services Committee meeting. This legislation would gut Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform put in place after the financial crisis. As Florida's governor at the time, Crist witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts it had on the state. Click here to view his remarks and please find full text of his statement below.
I would ask my colleagues, have you forgotten the desperate calls from your constituents? From your neighbors? From your family members? The foreclosure factories – do you remember them?
Middle class one day, on the street the next. My constituents have not forgotten.
I’d like to share the story of Lehigh Acres, Florida, a community outside of Fort Myers. It was under construction when the financial crisis took hold. The streets were mostly paved, the parcels were mostly subdivided, the construction began, and then the capital stopped – frozen in place by the very banks that taxpayers bailed out to the tune of $700 billion. Lehigh Acres, Florida still bears the physical scars of the crisis.
But beyond the physical scars of forgotten neighborhoods, the financial scars still persist. Seniors, who did everything right, forced back into the workforce as their retirement accounts plummeted. $17 trillion dollars of wealth robbed from the American people. And the emotional scars persist today as the crisis created an entire generation of once middle class children who now know homelessness.
I ask my friends, why would we return to the policies that led us to that nightmare? Why would we go back to the foreclosures, homeless children, and retirees picking up working class jobs?
Today, we could be working on nonpartisan improvements to Dodd-Frank, making it work better for Main Street. But instead, we have the Wrong CHOICE Act. Bad for seniors, bad for small businesses – especially women-owned and minority-owned small businesses, and bad for consumers.