House greenlights creation of consumer credit watchdog agency

It's not law yet, but it's come a long way. On Friday, Dec. 11, the House of Representatives passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, which includes a provision for creating a new agency aimed at protecting ordinary Americans from predatory lending practices. The new Consumer Financial Protection Agency would regulate credit cards, payday lenders, and home, auto and student loans and their underwriters. The Senate will create its own version of this bill, and a final draft would probably be signed into law by next year.

The bill is not without its detractors. Not one Republican lawmaker voting on the bill elected to approve the Act, and the banking industry has been vocal in its disapproval of what it depicts as a power grab by the government that interferes with its business model.