Tags: US House | consumer panel

U.S. House Passes Bill Aimed at New Consumer Agency

Thursday, 21 Jul 2011 11:08 PM


WASHINGTON - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives marked the anniversary of the 2010 financial oversight law on Thursday by passing legislation aimed at scaling back the powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The bureau, which opened for business on Thursday, is a key aspect of the law and one of its most contentious.

The legislation, passed by a 241 to 173 vote, would have the bureau run by a five-member board rather than a single director and make it easier for the new Financial Stability Oversight Council to overturn bureau regulations.

It has almost no chance of becoming law because of opposition from Democrats who control the Senate and because of a promise from the White House to veto the measure, but it highlights the partisan tensions over the CFPB.

The agency has been a sore point for Republicans and the banking industry, who have portrayed it as an unnecessary layer of regulation that, if overzealous, could restrict consumer choice and lending.

Democrats have championed the bureau, which will police products like mortgages and credit cards, as a singular reform that establishes a "cop on the beat" to protect consumer interests against the banking and lending industry.

Republicans said their bill's proposed changes are not radical and will put needed checks on the agency.

House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus said the board approach is used for other agencies and that under the law an "unaccountable czar" will call the shots for CFPB.

"I wouldn't want George Washington, I wouldn't want Abraham Lincoln, I wouldn't want Mother Theresa to have that kind of power," Bachus said.

Democrats dismissed these arguments as disingenuous and said Republicans' true intent is to slowly bleed the agency to death.

"The public does not think that the poor banks need to be protected against these rapacious consumers," said Congressman Barney Frank, one of the law's primary authors. "This particular bill is a proxy for what they (Republicans) really want to do, abolishing the whole agency."

The bureau is currently leaderless but earlier this week President Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to be its first director.

Senate Republicans, however, are threatening to block the pick unless Democrats agree to change how the bureau is funded, have it run by a board and give FSOC more say over CFPB rules.

There is no compromise in sight, leading to speculation the president will use his authority to place Cordray in the job when the Senate goes on a break in August.

Under this scenario Cordray could only serve in the job for about 1-1/2 years instead of a full five-year term.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Tom DeLay: Rick Perry's White House Hopes Likely Hurt by Charges

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 19:46 PM

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Saturday he can relate to any fallout from the indictment dogging forme . . .

Obama Budget Sets up Battle With GOP-controlled Congress

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 14:39 PM

After a year of relative peace in Washington's budget battles, President Barack Obama will lay out a $4 trillion budget  . . .

Giuliani Endorses Palm Beach Candidate

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 11:08 AM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has endorsed a longtime friend in his campaign for re-election to the town coun . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved