The House Oversight Committee has accused the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of having unchecked power and a vague mandate, giving it the potential to be a “run-away regulator unlike any other in American history.”
In a new report issued Friday, the GOP-led panel warned that with credit already becoming difficult to find for some lenders, the CFPB’s new regulatory oversight could further tighten it. It also suggests that the bureau may have an inappropriate relationship with the White House, adding that president may use it to “further its partisan agenda.” The report was issued by committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the bureau.
“At a time of prolonged economic strain, American consumers can ill-afford such an unaccountable, unresponsive, and all-powerful financial regulator,” the report states.
The document marks the latest in a long-running Republican campaign opposing the bureau. Ever since it was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, GOP lawmakers have hotly scrutinized its operations. The agency’s first director, Richard Cordray, was put in place via a contentious recess appointment, after GOP members in the Senate vowed to block any nominee without fundamental changes to the agency’s structure. The report calls Cordray’s appointment “controversial and legally questionable,” given that the House was holding brief “pro forma” sessions during longer congressional breaks in an attempt to prevent such recess appointments.