October 22, 2009
English Only Consumer Protection Defeated
The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009, HR 3126, would establish the Consumer Financial Protection Agency as an independent executive agency to regulate the provision of consumer financial products or services. The bill was approved by the House Financial Services Committee today, but only after a robust markup.
One amendment was offered by Representative Chris Lee, R-NY, seeking to strike a provision regarding consumer protection "language accessible materials for non-English speakers" and to prohibit the Agency from requiring any disclosures in any language other than English. The amendment was defeated 40 - 29 (see item 38, HR 3126 here).
For an excellent discussion of the status and constitutionality of a wide array of English-only laws and policies in the United States, see Watch Your Language! The Kansas Law Review Survey of Official-English and English-Only Laws and Policies, 57 U. Kan. L. Rev. 669 (2009).
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