As the controversy around the embattled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau heightens, more representatives are stepping outside of the beltway to tell their constituents their opinions on the constitutionality of the bureau.
Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., recently penned a commentary for his local publication, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, on the need for the agency to be reined in.
Hill begins by stating, “In Washington, accountability has gone from a focal point of governance to a relative afterthought.”
From the piece:
The CFPB has become arguably the least accountable government agency.
The director can be fired only for "inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance," and because the CFPB is an independent agency located within the Fed–which also amazingly has no authority over the agency–and is not subject to the appropriations process, neither the administration nor Congress has a say over the CFPB's actions.
Hill addressed that defenders of CFPB essentially argue that with an agency named for consumer financial protection, how could it be anything but a good steward of consumer needs and protections?
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services and one of the biggest defenders of the CFPB, recently opened up the CFPB’s semi-annual hearing, stating, “I reject these misguided attacks on the Consumer Bureau, and I will continue to stand up for the hardworking American consumers that the agency defends every day. The Consumer Bureau is an invaluable ally to consumers, and its work must continue.”
Hill responded to comments like the one from Waters in his commentary by stating:
We don't apply that standard to any other agency in government; having a consumer-friendly name doesn't absolve it from the necessity of standard congressional oversight.
When you pull back the curtain on this perceived irreproachable agency, you see something much uglier than its name might suggest.
But the worst part about the CFPB is that the agency's practices are actually harming consumers.
Wagner argued that the CFPB touts its “independent and comprehensive” review in the Wells Fargo case, and yet they only interviewed three people.
Both Wagner and Hill pointed to the Financial CHOICE Act as the best remedy for the CFPB.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, spearheaded the Financial CHOICE Act and is supposedly working on an even more aggressive version of the Act. Wagner and Hill also sit on the House Financial Services Committee.