House Subcommittee Approves Bills That Would Effectively Shackle Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

As we reported yesterday, a House of Representatives subcommittee was set to review various proposed bills that would effectively disarm the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before it even had a chance to do any protecting of consumers. Sadly, but not surprisingly, all three bits of proposed legislation have been approved.

One bill would replace the Bureau’s directorship with a five-person committee, while another would make it easier for other banking regulators to slam the doors on new CFPB rules.

The third bill aims to prevent the CFPB from receiving key regulatory powers before the agency has a director.

Opponents to the legislation had attempted to insert a clause into the first bill that would guarantee that presumed CFPB head Elizabeth Warren would lead the proposed five-person committee. That request was denied.

Those in support of these anti-consumer bills justify their actions by calling them a “a good faith effort to improve the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

While those in the House who actually want the CFPB to do something say, “The real reason is to delay, distract and weaken the CFPB before it even goes into effect on July 21.”

“The CFPB is already carefully constructed” and “urgently needed,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “The CFPB has unprecedented oversight and accountability.”

Our cousins at Consumers Union have called upon Congress to vote against this legislation: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hasn’t even opened its doors yet and opponents of reform in Congress are already trying to weaken it. Lawmakers should oppose efforts to undercut the CFPB and stand up for consumers who deserve a fair deal on their credit cards, mortgages and bank accounts.”

US House Panel Approves Bills To Restructure New Consumer Bureau [WSJ.com]