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House Speaker Sounds Off on New Act

New Act Focuses on Mortgage Fraud, Economic Collapse

WASHINGTON - (May 6, 2009) Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which will provide critical funding and tools to help law enforcement pursue and prosecute corporate and mortgage fraud that have contributed to the recent economic collapse. The legislation also establishes a bipartisan commission to investigate the causes of the collapse of our financial system and the ensuing recession.

"By passing this critical bill today, the New Direction Congress is continuing its commitment to economic recovery with the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer funds.

"This bill takes action now to protect taxpayers by giving the Justice Department more tools to fight possible fraud in the use of TARP and economic recovery funds and in mortgage markets. Congress must protect taxpayers against future fraud that exploits economic assistance initiatives that are intended to restore and rebuild our economy.

"This bill will help address the challenges before us while also ensuring that we fully examine the causes and factors that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Accordingly, this legislation would establish a 10-member 'Financial Markets Inquiry Commission' to examine the causesboth domestic and globalof the financial crisis.

"Americans must be assured that we are taking every step possible to protect their interests and to prevent the misuse or abuse of their hard-earned dollars.

"The Commission will focus on more than 20 areas, including: the failure to protect consumers and individual investors; the role of fraud and abuse in the financial sector; tax treatment of financial products; credit rating agencies; lending practices; and corporate governance and executive compensation.

"This Commission will be empowered to hold hearings and to issue subpoenas either for witness testimony or for documents and will report its findings and conclusions to Congress and the American people by December 15, 2010.

"As the Commission performs its duties, Chairman Barney Frank and the House Financial Services Committee will continue their work as we strive to stabilize our financial markets, protect consumers, and ensure that this financial crisis never happens again."

SOURCE: Office of the Speaker of the House

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