posted at 4:01 pm on February 9, 2017 by John Sexton
The Hill reports that a new bill being prepared by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling would place the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the President’s authority:
According to a staff memo outlining changes to his legislation, Hensarling plans to replace prior calls to establish a bipartisan commission at the top of the CFPB. Instead, he wants to stick with the single director now in place, but put that person directly under the president’s authority.
Republicans have called for a bipartisan commission at the helm of the bureau since its inception in 2010, but Hensarling now is pushing a change that would effectively allow Trump to dictate the direction of the CFPB for as long as he is in office.
The staff memo outlines several other changes to the CFPB which would limit it’s reach:
Under the plan, the agency also would no longer be able to regulate entities already regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. And it could no longer levy fines against institutions, seeing its enforcement powers limited to cease and desist letters and subpoenas.
At this point you have to wonder if the GOP is just trolling Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren originally proposed the agency and, after it became part of the Dodd-Frank reform bill in 2010, Warren was selected by President Obama help get it going. The idea of handing CFPB over to President Trump seems destined to spawn plenty of outraged tweets from the Senator in the near future.
There’s also a genuine question whether this is a good idea in the long run. Decisions that seem like a good idea when your party is in power don’t always look so good when the other team is in control. The Democrats have been regretting their decision to go nuclear on the filibuster as it has left them no means to block any of Trump’s nominees. The same could be true of this move in 4 or 8 years if Democrat take the White House. At that point, having a bipartisan commission in charge (rather than President George Clooney) might sound pretty good.