House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank released a statement Thursday in response to Republican criticism to Democrats' plans on market regulation.

President (Barack) Obama has asked Congress to join him in responding to our economic crisis by returning fairness and integrity to the way financial markets are regulated, the statement said.

We have responded to the president's challenge and we are moving to improve protections for consumers and investors and restore lending to businesses and consumers so our economy can grow and create the jobs Americans need.

The Representatives then accused Republicans of mounting a ferocious attack designed to revive stale ideological debate and disrupt progress on the president's much needed, reform agenda.

Republicans, they argued, wrongly argue that the causes of the housing crisis were the millions of victims who were induced to take out loans they did not understand and could not afford and the housing advocates who simply sought to ensure affordable housing.

The truth is that the real culprits in this disaster are the predatory loans made by poorly regulated lenders and the failure of the market that sent housing prices rocketing to unsustainable levels and induced bankers to 'dance as long as the music played.'

The statement said that Republican refusal to regulate our increasingly complex financial markets paved the way to our current crisis, and that Democrats will adamantly resist their attempts to divert attention from the urgent issues we face and distort the record to refight an ideological war that the American people firmly rejected in the last two elections.

Over the next several weeks, the statement continued, Democrats will counter the Republican efforts that attempt to derail the president's agenda and distract the public.

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