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Proposal Aims to Change CFPB’s Mission

SenateU.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota), who saw his bill to roll back part of Dodd-Frank pass in the U.S. House of Representatives last month, has introduced a new bill that proposes to change the mission of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

One of the major complaints of the CFPB’s critics during the Bureau’s almost five years of existence has been that it does more harm than good to the very people it purports to protect—consumers—by limiting their choices. H.R. 5211, known as the CFPB Dual Mandate and Economic Analysis Act and introduced by Emmer, would amend the CFPB’s mission to direct the Bureau’s focus to competition and consumer choice while at the same time continuing to focus on fairness and transparency.

The purpose of H.R. 5211 is to ensure that consumers will have access to and the ability to choose from a wide array of providers and products.

“It is time that we reform our government to help American consumers. By requiring the CFPB to focus more on competition and consumer choice, Minnesotans win,” Emmer said. “Ensuring that consumers and businesses can weigh in on actions by the CFPB before they are implemented increases the transparency and accountability of our federal government which the American people deserve.  Finally, once the CFPB implements a rule it only makes sense that our government studies its effectiveness so that it can be reformed or removed if it does harm.”

Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer

According to Emmer, H.R. 5211 would establish an Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) within the CFPB in order to review and assess how guidances, orders, rules, and regulations proposed by the CFPB would affect consumer choice. The findings of the OEA would be published in the Federal Register and open for public comment. Should the director disagree with the findings, he or she must submit a notice of disagreement that accompanies the promulgation of any CFPB action.

The OEA would also be required to review each action by the CFPB 1, 2, 5, and 10 years after implementation, in order to evaluate its effectiveness.

Several bills aimed at rolling back Dodd-Frank or changing the CFPB have been gaining traction as of late. H.R. 5211 comes less than a month after another Emmer-sponsored piece of legislation, H.R. 3340, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 239 to 179. H.R. 3340 proposes to amend the Financial Stability Act of 2010 and requires the budgets of both the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Office of Financial Research, two entities created by Dodd-Frank, subject to the annual appropriations process.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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