President Obama said Saturday he would not back down from his push to impose greater oversight in financial market — part of a bigger plan, he said, to protect consumers.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama promised to battle what he called special interests and to push hard for regulatory reform.
“The American people sent me to Washington to stand up for their interests,” he said. “And while I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one.”
On Wednesday, the president proposed a sweeping rewrite of rules governing the financial sector. A key component would be the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would oversee banks and lenders as they interact with consumers.
Obama said the nation’s current economic crisis was caused, in part, by banks that wrote mortgage and other loans that consumers could not afford. He also criticized the dizzying array of complicated contracts consumers face when they get loans or apply for credit cards.
The banking industry is pushing back against the president’s proposals, saying it would create undue regulation and put government too much in the middle of private enterprise.
Obama said that while he welcomes the upcoming debate in Congress, he would “vigorously oppose” those who “defend the status quo at any cost.”