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House approves bill to create consumer financial protection agency

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] voted 223-202 [roll call vote] Friday to approve a bill [HR 4173 materials] that would create a consumer financial protection agency and strengthen oversight of the financial industry. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 [materials] would also create a $150 billion industry-backed fund for the dismantling of large failed financial firms and outlaw many abusive and predatory lending practices. The vote came after the House rejected several proposed amendments [Bloomberg report], including one that would have created a council of regulators to oversee financial consumer protections instead of the single agency, which is opposed by the banking industry. The Senate will now consider similar legislation, a version of which was introduced [JURIST report] by Senate Banking Committee [official website] chair Chris Dodd (D-CT) [official website] last month.

The US House Financial Services Committee [official website] approved a bill [JURIST report] to create a consumer financial protection agency in October. The committee passed the legislation after originally delaying [JURIST report] it at the behest of financial industry leaders in July. The creation of the agency is a key step in the Obama administration's plans to tighten financial industry regulations. The administration originally proposed a broad series of financial regulatory reforms [press release] in June, calling [JURIST report] for the creation of a consumer financial protection agency, among other reforms.

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