Today the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will vote on a budget package that eliminates the budgetary independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — an effort to make it the only bank regulator subject to the political chicanery of the Appropriations process — while simultaneously slashing its budget by 60%. U.S. PIRG and about a dozen other groups who are Americans for Financial Reform members sent a strong letter of opposition. Excerpt:
We, the undersigned consumer, community and civil rights groups, all members of Americans for Financial Reform, strongly urges you to oppose any amendments that are proposed to weaken the structure, powers or funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Currently, Subtitle C, Section 331 of the “Budget reconciliation legislative recommendations of the Committee on Financial Services” would eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) independence by proposing to make it the only bank regulatory agency placed under the appropriations process. Were it to be approved, the proposal would also cut CFPB’s statutory funding from up to approximately $548 million in FY 2012 and $598 million in FY 2013 to a proposed authorization of just $200 million for each of FY 2012 and FY 2013.
Even the industry trade paper American Banker says: “Is GOP Push to Subject CFPB to Appropriations Hypocritical?” The story is behind a paywall, but here is an excerpt:
“The rest of the banking regulators, however, are independent from the appropriations process. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. draws its money from the Deposit Insurance Fund, the Fed is funded by its open market activities and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision are funded by exam fees on the banks they oversee.”
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, PIRG
Ed oversees U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer program, helping to lead national efforts to improve consumer credit reporting laws, identity theft protections, product safety regulations and more. Ed is co-founder and continuing leader of the coalition, Americans For Financial Reform, which fought for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, including as its centerpiece the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was awarded the Consumer Federation of America's Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award in 2006, Privacy International's Brandeis Award in 2003, and numerous annual "Top Lobbyist" awards from The Hill and other outlets. Ed lives in Virginia, and on weekends he enjoys biking with friends on the many local bicycle trails.