Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Continues to Support CFPB Commission and Expresses Concern Prior to Markup for H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act
Posted March 28, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Earlier this week, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act.  In the letter CUNA expressed concern over provisions in the legislation – including the dilution of the Credit Union Advisory Council.

CUNA’s letter reiterated support for a bipartisan, multimember commission to lead the CFPB.

"Congress has a responsibility to ensure the CFPB is suitably designed to be an effective agent of consumer protection. The current structure—with a single, powerful director—gives too much authority to one person and does not provide meaningful oversight and accountability,” the letter reads. “H.R. 1500 would be a more effective instrument of sustainable change if the bill was grounded in improving the Bureau’s leadership structure through the adoption of a multimember, bipartisan commission.”

During the mark-up, Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer introduced an amendment to H.R. 1500 that would have created a commission to oversee the CFPB instead of the current model which has the bureau led by a single director.

While Luetkemeyer withdrew the amendment before the Committee could vote on it, CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan thanked the Congressman.

"We appreciate Rep. Luetkemeyer's continued support for a commission to run the CFPB. CUNA has long called for the creation of just such a leadership structure, and will continue to engage with Rep. Luetkemeyer, Chairwoman Maxine Waters, and other lawmakers on this important issue," Donovan said.

The letter also noted the significant questions and concerns that have come up regarding the CFPB’s power and actions taken, as well as with leadership transitions. CUNA also highlights the bipartisan support received for the commission in previous Congresses.

“A multi-member commission, as envisioned by the original proponents of the Bureau, would enhance consumer protection by ensuring diverse perspectives are considered prior to finalizing rules, and would prevent disruptions caused by leadership changes,” the letter reads. “Credit union members and other consumers benefit from policymaking that includes more voices. This structure is consistent with the traditions of our democracy and would provide certainty that is essential for consumers and the financial services industry, regardless of which political party controls the White House.”