GOP Brings New Measures to Rein in CFPB Powers

House Republicans are now supporting 11 different bills that would change the way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau conducts its business and oversight.

Republicans have long argued the bureau needs more accountability, with the bills reflecting their concerns from supervision of the agency to data collection.

The House Financial Services Committee will discuss the newest measures on Wednesday, including a look into how the CFPB holds meetings, conducts research, collects data, examines institutions, and writes rules.

“The CFPB is arguably the single most powerful and least accountable agency in all of Washington,” a committee spokesman told The Hill. “These bills are common sense steps to make the bureau more accountable and transparent to the people it is supposed to serve.”

One of the proposed measures include creating a devoted inspector general just for the CFPB. The bureau currently receives oversight from the Federal Reserve’s inspector general, but GOP lawmakers say the agency, which has 1,300 employees, requires its own watchdog.

Another bill would require the CFPB to open some of its meetings to the public.

Republicans have opposed the CFPB’s inclusion in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law since its inception, and have repeatedly tried to alter its structure following its creation. Its leadership has said in the past that ongoing opposition from House Republicans would largely “defund” and “defang” the bureau, taking away the power it was intended to wield.

Wednesday’s hearing on the bills will come hours after a separate Financial Services panel will question CFPB managers on allegations of discrimination at the agency.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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