WASHINGTON — The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency has become a cause celeb — literally.
In a video posted Wednesday on funnyordie.com, current and former Saturday Night Live comedians show up in a skit designed to promote the stand-alone agency, which has failed to attract much political support in the Senate.
In the skit, which is directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard, President Barack Obama, played by Fred Armisen, dreams he is visited by six former presidents who all urge him to lean on Congress to enact the CFPA.
The skit features some of Saturday Night Live's best-known impersonators, including Will Ferrell as the younger President Bush, Dana Carvey as his father, Darrell Hammond as President Clinton and Dan Aykroyd as President Carter. It also features appearances from Jim Carrey as Ronald Reagan and Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford.
"These banks and these credit card companies are ripping off the people - almost no regulations," Obama/Armisen says at the skit's opening. "I'm trying to make a consumer agency to protect families and the lobbyists and Sen. [Richard] Shelby act like I want to change the national anthem."
Carter/Aykroyd tells Obama/Armisen he "has to establish the consumer finance protection agency. People are tired of being ripped off by credit card companies and banks."
Bush/Ferrell says that he wasn't worried about the issue until he paid for the Iraq war on his credit card. "I never dreamed I would be paying 28% in interest rates - it's astronomical."
At the end of the skit, viewers are urged by Howard to call their senators in support of CFPA.
"The banks have billions of dollars to get their message out, but your speech is free," Howard says. "Contact the senators about the CFPA. Nothing annoys them more than having to do their jobs."
The video is linked to mainstreetbrigade.org, a relatively sparse Web site devoted to the promoting the CFPA.