Bills to “Defang” the CFPB Advance in House

Three bills that Special Advisor Elizabeth Warren said would “defund” and “defang” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advanced through the House Financial Services Committee Friday.

The contentious debate over the bureau’s power continues with the advancement of the three bills, which aim to restrict the authority of the consumer protection agency, and call into question the bureau’s leadership structure. The bills will next move to full consideration by the House.

Republicans, which largely supported the bills, argue the measures will keep the bureau in check and will prevent it from wielding too much power. Democrats who have opposed the bills, including Warren, say the legislation will restrict the agency before it has a chance to progress.

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Of the bills, one calls for a five-member bi-partisan leadership commission to oversee the bureau, rather than a single director. Another would ease the ability of outside regulators to overrule the CFPB and a third addresses the ability of the bureau to work in the absence of a director.

President Obama has yet to nominate a director, and this week Rep. Barney Frank said it was likely the president would make the nomination during a Senate recess, which would bypass a difficult Senate confirmation process.

“I assume they will now make a recess appointment,” Rep. Frank told reporters.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker