Today, President Obama urged passage of the financial reform legislation presently before Congress. "Unless your business model depends on bilking people, there is little to fear from these new rules," he declared in a speech at Cooper Union in New York City. The full text of his remarks is posted here
Why then, is the National Automotive Dealer’s Association urging its members to board their corporate jets and fly to Washington D.C. on Monday? Its website announcement reads: “The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is organizing a Dealer Fly-in on April 26 to meet with Senators and urge support for the Brownback Amendment which would exempt auto dealers from the proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection."
Consumers may not have the means to hop a commercial airline, much less a corporate jet, to meet in person with Congress before Senator Dodd brings the Bill (S. 3217) to the floor of the Senate next week. But that doesn’t mean that consumers can’t be heard. All you have to do is call toll free 1-866-544-7573. When you input your zip code at the prompt, you will be connected automatically to your U.S. Senator’s office. A senate staffer on the other end of the line will ask the purpose your call. You should be prepared to say something like this: “Please tell Senator________ [name] to vote to support financial reform that holds banks accountable and creates a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. I am against the Brownback Amendment or anything else that excludes car dealers and automotive lenders from this important reform."
Numerous consumer organizations vehemently oppose such an amendment. These include The Military Coalition, Americans for Financial Reform and the National Association of Consumer Advocates, to name just a few. If the financial reform legislation currently under debate is intended to bridge the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, it can’t by-pass the local Auto Mall.