The latest in a long line of calls to overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau comes from Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas), who wants the CFPB’s Rule Accountability Act to require congressional authorization for any bureau ruling that would have an economic impact of at least $100 million.
Williams, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the bill on Friday, saying that the waning Obama administration has “does nothing to protect consumers, but rather gives lawmaking authority to unelected government workers who are oblivious to the effects their policies have on millions of hardworking American families.”
Williams also said that the CFPB’s legacy has been one of unnecessary, costly from a closed-door agency, but one that has been unaccountable in its actions. “As the Obama Administration’s days come to an end, it’s time to restore the decision making power to the lawmakers who are held accountable to the people who sent them to Washington,” he said.
Williams’ colleague, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, echoed Williams’ call for a more transparent, accountable agency.
“The American people are tired of out-of-control, unaccountable Washington bureaucrats passing unnecessary rules, without their consent, that shackle the economy and rob them of a higher standard of living,” Hensarling said. “Nowhere is this more true than at the CFPB, where a single unelected director is granted unprecedented power to arbitrarily decide what mortgages, credit cards, and back accounts Americans can have access to.”
“As the Obama Administration’s days come to an end, it’s time to restore the decision making power to the lawmakers who are held accountable to the people who sent them to Washington.”
Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)
The Williams bill is a new step in Republican efforts to untangle what they feel are excessive regulations. The bill follows the path of the Republican-backed “A Better Way” plan, which was announced Tuesday as an agenda feature more than 100 ways to undo overregulation and “promote financial independence.”
Unsurprisingly, Democrats are not in synch with Republicans. Maxine Waters (D-California), the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, said earlier this week that House Republicans “are once again making it clear that they do not care. Last week, they showed America that they don’t care about people living in poverty by releasing a fake poverty agenda that would punish and blame the poor instead of investing in critical resources like housing. This week, they are focusing their disregard on America’s consumers. They’ve released a deregulatory platform that would dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to give consumers the kind of protections they didn’t have before. “
Waters accused Republicans of being quick to highlight the costs of regulation while ignoring the proven benefits.
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has returned $11.4 billion to more than 25 million Americans who were harmed by predatory financial practices,” she said. “The American people understand the importance of the CFPB. Republicans should stop these hackneyed attempts to deregulate consumer protection.”