Senate Republicans are seeking greater congressional authority over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with new legislation out Wednesday to reroute its mechanism for funding.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountability Act of 2021 requires that the agency’s funding be approved by Congress as with more executive agencies, as opposed to the status quo, which is approval by the Federal Reserve.
The changes proposed by 17 Republican co-sponsors come the day after Senate Democrats advanced the nomination of Rohit Chopra for CFPB director. He will receive a final floor vote as soon as next week.
“Should Democrats choose to confirm President Biden’s radical nominee, who has dodged questions throughout the confirmation process and is likely to continue the anti-job-creation, unaccountable CFPB conduct of the Obama administration, the CFPB must be required to go through the regular congressional appropriations process to ensure public accountability,” said Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty, a lead sponsor of the bill who serves on the Senate Banking Committee.
“As a lifelong businessman, protecting consumers in the financial marketplace is important, but handing vast government regulatory power to an agency that is not accountable to the American people’s elected representatives is improper,” Hagerty continued. “Americans deserve to have a far greater input in this agency.”
Other Republicans backing the bill include Hagerty’s Tennessee colleague Marsha Blackburn and Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who also sits on the Banking Committee. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is also a co-sponsor.
The CFPB was established by Congress in 2010 as a pet project of Elizabeth Warren, who was then a special adviser to President Barack Obama, in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Warren joined the upper chamber as a senator from Massachusetts two years later.
In June, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the law creating the agency, which narrowed the director’s premature removal to only reasons of “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.”