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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is celebrating the Senate’s passage of legislation that would provide better financial information to millions of individuals and families so they can make sound financial decisions and prevent crimes like identity theft from happening to them.

Saturday night the Senate passed unanimously the conference report for the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, H.R.2622. The bill would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 to improve financial education and literacy, enhance the accuracy and use of consumer reports resulting in greater credit opportunities for consumers, and provide tools to consumers to protect themselves from identity theft and restore their identities if they have been stolen. Enzi also said it’s important to note that because of the bill, consumers will now be able to get their credit reports annually for free.

Enzi, a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee and the select group of conference committee members that ironed out the differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill, worked particularly hard on two provisions regarding financial literacy and identity theft. The provisions were part of legislation introduced by Enzi earlier this year.

“While the amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act are extremely important to consumers and to our national credit system, financial literacy is the corner-stone of the bill,” said Enzi. “By providing individuals and families with the tools and know-how to make financial decisions, we are giving them control over how they can buy a new home or save for retirement.”

Enzi said the legislation would build on the success of financial literacy programs in Wyoming. The bill would provide a one-stop-educational shop for consumers for various federal financial literacy programs and create a national strategy to bring consistency and focus to the federal government’s overall financial literacy goals.

Enzi's inspiration for financial literacy came from the compressed video classrooms that a consortium of Wyoming business and non-profit entities established to teach individuals and families, especially in the rural parts of the state, how to buy a home. These classrooms have proven to be extremely popular and beneficial.

The House passed the bill Friday and the President is expected to sign the bill into law.