Rep. Myrick Keeps Heat on Obama; President Turns to Economy

Posted September 19, 2009 at 5:00am

President Barack Obama renewed his calls for a new consumer protection agency on Saturday, arguing during his weekly radio address a new central agency is needed to ensure the public is protected from future financial industry troubles.”Part of what led to this crisis were not just decisions made on Wall Street, but also unsustainable mortgage loans made across the country. While many folks took on more than they knew they could afford, too often folks signed contracts they didn’t fully understand offered by lenders who didn’t always tell the truth,” Obama argued.”That’s why we need clear rules, clearly enforced. And that’s what this agency will do. Consumers shouldn’t have to worry about loan contracts written to confuse, hidden fees attached to their mortgages, and financial penalties — whether through a credit card or debit card — that appear without a clear warning on their statements. And responsible lenders, including community banks, trying to do the right thing shouldn’t have to worry about ruinous competition from unregulated and unscrupulous competitors.—With Obama preparing for next week’s G-20 meeting — which he termed a “checkup— on the economy — the president also used the address to defend federal efforts over the past year to address the global economic crisis, saying that the actions taken by the U.S. and other nations have been vital in averting a significantly worse collapse of the world’s economy. However, he acknowledged that more work is needed.“Because of the steps taken by our nation and all nations, we can now say that we have stopped our economic freefall. But we also know that stopping the bleeding isn’t nearly enough. Our work is far from over. We know we still have a lot to do here at home to build an economy that is producing good jobs for all those who are looking for work today,— Obama said.Meanwhile, Rep. Sue Myrick (N.C.) used the GOP radio response to keep up pressure against Democrats’ health care reform plans.Myrick, a breast cancer survivor, argued that the kind of quick action that helped catch her disease early would be undermined by a public insurance option, criticizing the health care systems in Canada and the United Kingdom.“Under the government-run health care system they have in Canada and the United Kingdom, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get those tests so quickly. One international study found that three times as many citizens in those countries wait longer than a month to see a specialist. When it comes to life-threatening diseases like cancer, delay could mean death,— Myrick said.The North Carolina Republican also argued that regardless of what type of plan Democrats propose, it will ultimately end up as nothing more than an opening for the government to take control of the health care system.“Replacing your current health care with a government-run system is not the answer. These so-called health care reform bills have different names: a public option, a co-op, a trigger. Make no mistake, these are all gateways to government-run health care,— she argued.