WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, along with a bipartisan group of 19 colleagues, has introduced major bipartisan legislation to strengthen Missouri small businesses and families by increasing access to capital, cutting burdensome regulation, and protecting consumers.
“With all the noise and gridlock in Congress right now, this bipartisan plan to help protect consumers from fraud and financial risk while encouraging investments in Missouri communities is a real breath of fresh air,” McCaskill said. “Small community banks on Main Street didn’t cause the financial crash and recession, and they shouldn’t have to bear the financial burdens as those that did—so this plan ensures Missouri families and small businesses can thrive, while keeping the large banking giants in check, and better protecting Missouri seniors.”
Included in the bipartisan plan is McCaskill’s Senior$afe Act, which would encourage and allow the employees of financial institutions to report suspected exploitive or fraudulent activity to authorities when they suspect that a customer might be the victim of financial exploitation.
McCaskill’s legislation recognizes that community banks, credit unions, and regional banks do not pose the same risk as Wall Street banks, and tailors regulation appropriately. The sweeping legislation includes provisions of McCaskill’s bipartisan bill—cosponsored by Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia, and championed by Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer—to provide regulatory relief to small regional banks subject to unnecessarily overly-burdensome regulations put in place by the “Dodd-Frank” financial reform bill. Those rules that were never intended for banks that primarily engage in ordinary consumer banking practices.
McCaskill has been a longtime and strong advocate on behalf of Missouri’s consumers. Included in this bipartisan legislation are protections for consumers who fall victim to fraud and tough financial times, including one free year of fraud alerts for consumers impacted by the Wells Fargo scandal and the Equifax breach, as well as give consumers one free credit freeze and unfreeze per year. And it would shield veterans from having certain medical debt appear on credit reports.
Additionally, McCaskill’s legislation acknowledges that home-ownership is central to the America’s economic health, and makes it easier for small financial institutions to lend to Missouri families, while supporting low income families.