New Ad Targets Potential Cotton Vote On Changes To Mortgage Reform Law (UPDATED)

by Roby Brock ( 2 views 

A third party group is launching a new TV ad aimed at GOP Senate hopeful Cong. Tom Cotton’s position on changes to a mortgage reform law.

Americans United for Change revealed on Wednesday (Nov. 27) that a statewide broadcast and cable TV buy would begin later this week in Arkansas.

The ad – which can be viewed below – references the Mortgage Choice Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that will be considered by the House Financial Services Committee of which Cotton is a member.

The proposed legislation would alter some of the requirements for disclosure brought about by Congressional reforms following the mortgage crisis of 2008-9.

Cotton has not taken a public position on the legislation, but he has railed against some of the changes Congress made in response to the financial collapse during the Great Recession.  The Americans United ad seeks to keep key provisions of the Congressional action in place.

Earlier this week on his Congressional blog, Cotton called for restrictions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in response to the banking crisis.

“In 2010, President Obama and his liberal allies passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which enshrined ‘too-big-to-fail’ into law and made Wall Street bailouts permanent. Their compulsion to enlarge government and give more power to Washington bureaucrats also resulted in the creation of a dangerously unaccountable regulatory agency known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB,” Cotton wrote.

“If you don’t know the name of the agency, you likely soon will. And you should, because the CFPB’s unprecedented power and authority mean that it will affect your financial lives whether you realize or not. The CFPB is authorized to prescribe rules and issue orders over any entity that ‘poses risks to consumers with regard to the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services.’ This mandate could be construed to include financial advisers such as Dave Ramsey, a mortgage from your community bank, or even a tractor dealer leasing out rigs,” Cotton added.

The Americans United ad urges Cotton to “put Arkansas homeowners ahead of big banks” by opposing H.R. 3211.

“Arkansas homeowners will soon enjoy lower mortgage costs through increased competition when new consumer protections passed under the Wall Street Reform Act go into place in January. However, the proposed Mortgage Choice Act being pushed by big banks would keep loopholes open allowing them to go back to the same risky and anti-competitive lending practices that led to the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent great recession,” Americans United said in a statement.

The campaign is targeting 26 members of the U.S. House and Senate who are either co-sponsoring the legislation or who could vote against the measure in committee. No other Arkansas representatives have been targeted by the group. In addition to the media buy, social media and field activities are planned in certain states.

“Do the big banks really think we’ve forgotten that their risky behavior with mortgages nearly pushed our nation into a full scale depression – and that we wouldn’t notice that they’re trying to strip away consumer protections for new homebuyers before they’ve even been in effect one day,” said Caren Benjamin, Executive Director, Americans United for Change (AUFC).

“Unfortunately for the banking lobbyists, they’ve been exposed – and members of Congress like Tom Cotton need to treat their proposal like the snake oil it is before any more new homebuyers get hurt.”

Americans United for Change is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005. It was formed to combat efforts to privatize Social Security and touts its efforts to advance a progressive agenda in Congress that includes health care reform, reversing climate change, Wall Street reform, protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts, minimizing gun violence, and tax fairness.

UPDATE: David Ray, Communications Director for the Cotton for U.S. Senate campaign, offered a response to the news of the TV ad. Cotton is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in 2014.

“It’s ironic that Senator Pryor’s allies would attack Tom Cotton, since Senator Pryor is the one who supported the policies that led to the mortgage meltdown in the first place. Even Senator Pryor himself has admitted his support for President Obama’s liberal banking policies hurt Arkansas’s small community banks.”

Ray’s comment cited an interview conducted earlier this year on KARK’s “Capitol View” where Pryor discussed his vote for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.