Since November, the Trump administration has taken steps to overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — the Obama-era consumer watchdog agency that Democrats created after the global financial crisis to monitor American consumers’ financial interests.
Based largely on a proposal from then-Harvard law professor (and now U.S. senator from Massachusetts) Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB acted aggressively in its first five years. It handled nearly 1 million consumer complaints, its enforcement actions returned nearly $12 billion dollars to 27 million consumers, and it put into place a bevy of new financial regulations. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) recently quipped that Wall Street hates the CFPB “like the devil hates holy water.”
But Republicans are now attacking the CFPB. Will they succeed in dismantling it from the inside? How durable will their efforts be? Here are four keys to understanding what is happening at the CFPB.
1. Dismantling the CFPB is a Republican priority
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) has summed up Republican complaints with the CFPB by calling it a “rogue agency.” Republicans have been gunning to dismantle the agency ever since it was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. Republicans have proposed …read more
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