- On Party Line Vote, House Financial Services Committee Passes Six Bills Aimed at Restructuring the CFPB
- November 29, 2013 | Authors: Robert E. Bostrom; Peter L. Cockrell; Brett M. Kitt; Gil Rudolph; J. Scott Sheehan
- Law Firms: Greenberg Traurig, LLP - New York Office ; Greenberg Traurig, LLP - McLean Office ; Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Washington Office ; Greenberg Traurig, LLP - McLean Office ; Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Houston Office
On November 21st, the House Financial Services Committee passed six bills aimed at bringing oversight, accountability and transparency to the CFPB. Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) called the bills “common-sense bills that bring a modicum of accountability and transparency to the CFPB.” He continued: “We know that this is an agency that was designed to be unique, if not perhaps rogue; it is an agency like no other. Arguably it is the single most powerful and least accountable Federal agency in the history of our nation.”
All six bills were approved by the Committee on a straight partisan line, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee, strongly criticized the measures as efforts to weaken the CFPB’s ability to be an effective, independent advocate for consumers. Waters said the “legislative proposals purportedly designed to ‘reform’ the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But behind this smoke screen, we all know the true purpose of this hearing is to give my Republican colleagues another chance to push for legislation to dismantle an effective and important agency by undermining its leadership, autonomy, and funding.”
- H.R. 2446, the Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act of 2013 - Replaces the CFPB’s singular director with a bipartisan, five-member commission appointed by the president.
- H.R. 3519, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Accountability and Transparency Act - Subjects the CFPB to regular Congressional oversight through the appropriations process.
- H.R. 2385, the CFPB Pay Fairness Act of 2013 - Places CFPB employees on the General Services salary scale to achieve pay parity with comparable federal regulatory agencies. Currently CFPB salaries are set and adjusted by the CFPB Director.
- H.R. 3193, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Act of 2013 - Requires CFPB to consider the safety and soundness of financial institutions in its rulemaking.
- H.R. 2571, the Consumer Right to Financial Privacy Act of 2013 - Prohibits CFPB from collecting personal financial information about consumers without their knowledge or consent.
- H.R. 3183 - Provides consumers with a free annual disclosure of information the CFPB maintains on them.