Congress Pushes to Create CFPB Watchdog

While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been busy flexing its muscles against reverse mortgage lenders lately, two congressmen say it’s time for the agency to have some more oversight. 

Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) recently re-introduced the bipartisan Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-Inspector General Act of 2015 — legislation that creates the position of an independent inspector general at the CFPB.

Currently, the CFPB has very little congressional oversight, the congressmen say, as it does not have its own independent inspector general but shares one with the Federal Reserve. 

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“Government accountability is important now, more than ever,” Stivers said in a written statement. “This legislation will allow for increased oversight of an agency that has been given broad authority. It is important that we take the necessary steps to ensure the CFPB is accountable to the American people.”

The legislation amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish an independent inspector general for the CFPB. The position would be appointed by the president and then confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate.

“The CFPB is an important agency that works to ensure that you, the consumer, are protected from things like predatory payday lenders, shoddy mortgage bankers and defective products,” Walz said in a statement. “Their work is important, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need oversight. I fully support their cause … and believe the appointment of an independent inspector general will only increase their ability to fulfill their important mission.” 

Written by Emily Study