The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which celebrated its fourth birthday earlier this week, won’t see its fifth birthday if Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, has his way.
Cruz, along with Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-TX, introduced a bill in Congress this week that would abolish the CFPB, an agency that Cruz says does not stand up to its name.
“Don't let the name fool you, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does little to protect consumer,” Cruz said in a release.
“The agency continues to grow in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people,” Cruz continued. “The only way to stop this runaway agency is by eliminating it altogether.”
Cruz went on to say that this legislation will give Congress the opportunity to “free consumers and small business” from the CFPB and its “regulatory blockades and financial activism,” which impede economic growth.
Ratcliffe said that he believes the CFPB’s “regulatory zeal” has negatively impacted American consumers and businesses.
“The CFPB's regulatory zeal has stripped American consumers and businesses of their freedom of choice and has limited their access to capital - all in the name of a 'we know best' attitude from Washington,” Ratcliffe said.
“It seems like every time I go home to Texas and spend time with people across our district, I hear stories about community banks having to choose between closing their doors or consolidating into larger institutions to handle the increase in compliance costs,” Ratcliffe continued.
In a joint release from Cruz and Ratcliffe’s offices, the two Republicans said that the CFPB is “just another example of the cronyism that infects our nation's capital.”
The release went on to state that CFPB was sold as an entity to help consumers by regulating and reining in larger financial institutions.
“Ironically, the Bureau has had the opposite effect,” the release states. “Now five years after Dodd-Frank's passage, big banks have only gotten bigger and the number of smaller banks and options for consumers have only decreased.”
Ratcliffe said that he, along with 46 other representatives, is grateful to be able to introduce this bill with Cruz.
“The CFPB represents exactly what President Reagan warned of - a government smothering opportunity rather than fostering it,” Ratcliffe said. “We must eliminate the CFPB.”
The joint release also stated that the “unelected bureaucrats” who lead the CFPB are “wholly unaccountable” to the American people.
The CFPB has long been a target of Congressional Republicans.
Last week, CFPB Director Richard Cordray was subject to some stern questioning by Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee.
In March, Cordray was received much the same by the House Financial Services Committee, when Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, continued his ongoing criticism of the CFPB as unaccountable.
Corday was greeted similarly when he visited the House Financial Services Committee in June 2014.
“Properly designed, the CFPB is capable of great good on behalf of consumers. It is also capable of great harm,” Hensarling said at the time.
“In just three years, the CFPB has grown into an unaccountable federal leviathan of nearly 1,400 employees with over a half billion dollar budget and the unrestrained power to dictate which Americans can receive credit and which Americas cannot,” Hensarling continued. “Knowledgeable Americas are rightfully alarmed as the threat and the harm begins to mount.”
Cruz and Ratcliffe now join in calling for the CFPB to be eliminated.
“While there's much more to do to scale back the harmful regulatory impositions of Dodd-Frank, this legislation takes a critical step in the right direction,” Cruz said. “So today let's celebrate the CFPB's fourth and final anniversary.”