Last night the President highlighted the need for jobs and health care reform for middle-class families, but Americans also need relief in the housing market and financial reform.

First, we need stronger measures to stop preventable foreclosures. The financial crisis started in the housing market, and foreclosures continue to drag down the entire economy. Banks should be required to take reasonable steps to help families stay in their homes.

Second, we urge the President and Congress to create a strong, independent watchdog over the big banks to make sure they don't cause another crisis and to safeguard families from unfair lending practices.

Standing up for the middle class means standing up to powerful interests. The financial companies that caused this crisis—and received a bailout from taxpayers—are now spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying to prevent needed reforms. They should not be allowed to stand in the way of fixing the loose rules that permitted them to gamble with the economy.

The protection of homes and the reform of lax financial rules are critical to American families and to the recovery of our economy.

For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or

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