U.S. President Barack Obama is again promoting his plan for a new agency to protect consumers in the American financial industry. 

President Obama says his proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would protect investors and borrowers from the abuses that led to the current U.S. economic problems.
"An epidemic of irresponsibility took hold, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.  And the consequences have been disastrous," he said.

In his weekly Saturday address, Mr. Obama says the proposed agency would set tough new rules to force companies to treat financial customers fairly.

"We are going to promote markets that work for those who play by the rules," he said. "We are going to stand up for a system in which fair dealing and honest competition are the only way to win.  We are going to level the playing field for consumers."

The president says he knows the plan faces stiff opposition from business leaders.

"Well, the American people did not send me to Washington to give in to those special interests," said Mr. Obama. "The American people sent me to Washington to stand up for their interests.  Although I am not spoiling [looking] for a fight, I am ready for one."

In the weekly Republican message, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Obama's plan to reform the U.S. health care system will cost too much.

"Throughout this debate, the administration's central argument has been that America needs health care reform for the sake of the economy," he said. "Yet, according to independent estimates, every health care proposal Democrats on Capitol Hill have offered would only hurt the economy."

Two recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office both show that the Democratic health plans will cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years.