Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) recently argued before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the “dangerous” nature of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Duffy gave an impassioned speech, outlining some of the much-needed reforms to the CFPB, including replacing the Bureau's Director Richard Cordray with a board responsible solely to the American people. Duffy's sponsored HR 3193, The Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act, was passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 232-182.
“This is a bill about accountability and transparency," said Duffy. "If you are here to protect the consumer, why don't you ask the consumer for permission and consent to take their information? This is the right thing to do. Let's empower Congress and the American people. Let's reform the CFPB and actually make it work."
During House floor debate, Rep. Duffy said the CFPB collects private information about Americans, similar to the heavily criticized National Security Agency (NSA).
“If you’re an American, and you have a credit card, the CFPB is collecting and monitoring your transactions, so what we’ve done is said, listen, if you are here to protect the consumer, why don’t you ask the consumer for permission and consent to take their information?” said Rep. Duffy.
Siding with Rep. Duffy is House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who took to the House floor to further back HR 3193 and voice the support of his constituents in the mortgage industry regarding the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule.
"What does an agency with this kind of power do? It imposes rules like the Qualified Mortgage rule, or QM for short," commented Rep. Hensarling. "What does QM do? According to Federal Reserve data, because of QM, 'roughly one-third of black and Hispanic borrowers would not meet the requirements of a QM loan.' Mr. Chairman, one-third. CoreLogic, which analyzes mortgage data has said 'only half of today’s mortgage originations meet QM requirements.' That is egregiously unfair to hard-working Americans."
Some of the highlights of HR 3193 include:
►Replaces the single, unaccountable CFPB Director with an accountable, five-member Commission appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints inform the CFPB’s regulatory and enforcement agenda, and to conform the CFPB’s governance to that of other federal agencies charged with consumer or investor protection.
►Subjects the CFPB to the regular appropriations process and makes the CFPB a stand-alone independent agency rather than a bureau within the Federal Reserve System.
►Prohibits the CFPB from using a consumer’s private, personal financial information without the consumer’s knowledge and consent. The CFPB is currently engaged in a massive, multi-million dollar data collection effort of consumers’ financial information.
►Prevents the CFPB from undermining the safety and soundness of U.S. financial institutions through regulatory overreach.
►Sets the basic rates of pay for CFPB employees in accordance with the General Services (GS) scale.