Washington - Senators Jack Reed and Robert Menendez joined Jim Guest, President and CEO of Consumers Union, and Gloria McAlpin, a victim of mortgage fraud, to discuss the importance of protecting consumers from risky behavior and excess on Wall Street. Years of reckless behavior by big banks on Wall Street led to 8 million people losing their jobs and trillions of dollars being gambled away. Senate Republicans yesterday blocked debate on legislation to reign in Wall Street and protect American consumers. Senate Democrats are committed to holding Wall Street accountable and will continue to call on Republicans to drop their objections to reforming greed and excess on Wall Street.

"Delaying Wall Street reform is not helping America and it is not helping the economy," said Senator Reed. "The American people are rightfully upset that we haven't done more to end the recklessness that caused the financial crisis. That is what's at issue here: will we or won't we even start debating Wall Street reform? If Republicans keep blocking the bill, that's more delay in providing consumer protection and a continuation of the practices that helped crash the economy."

Senator Menendez said: "Millions of families who have spent the past two years worried about their jobs, homes and savings don't just want Wall Street accountability now, they wanted it yesterday. Which begs the question: where are our Republican colleagues? Where were they yesterday when the American people needed them to help simply start the debate that brings us closer to common sense rules for Wall Street?"

"At Consumers Union, we hear time and again from people all across the nation about financial rip-offs and greedy, unethical banking practices," said Jim Guest. "We've collected nearly 25,000 stories from consumers who've been harmed. It's brutally clear that the time for strong financial reform is now."

Said Gloria McAlpin: "My family's ordeal should never have happened to us or to the millions of other families hurt by unfair mortgage lending."