U.S. Senators should stop the assault on the CFPB and hold a vote on the Cordray nomination.
CLEVELAND, OH – Last week the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs voted to move forward with the nomination of Richard Cordray for Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Cordray has won praise from bankers and consumer advocates, and from Republicans as well as Democrats. Yet the nomination and the vital work of the CFPB are in peril. That’s because 43 Senators are threatening to block a full floor vote unless the bureau’s structure is changed to drastically reduce the its authority and funding. These changes would weaken the bureau and leave American consumers without a voice among federal financial regulators.
It’s time to stop the attack on the CFPB and let the bureau do its job. Senators should end the games and hold a full floor vote on Cordray’s nomination.
“The last year has shown the nation what ESOP has known all along,” said Mark Seifert, ESOP’s Executive Director, “that Richard Cordray works in a fair, transparent and professional way to protect American consumers while balancing the needs of responsible players in the financial industry. All the negative predictions about how the CFPB would hurt the industry have not come true. It’s time to stop coming up with bogus excuses to block this nomination and the work of the bureau.”
The Senate faces a simple choice: allow an up/down vote on this nomination, or open the door to more of what the CFPB is working hard to prevent – abusive and deceptive banking and lending practices like those that fed an epidemic of foreclosures, saddled millions of Americans with unmanageable debt, and triggered a financial meltdown.
The bureau is finally taking some of the lessons learned from the financial crisis and using them to institute sound and consistent rules that protect American consumers without unduly burdening responsible players in the financial industry.
Forbes has called the CFPB “Main Street’s Best Friend in Government.” In less than two years since the bureau began its work it has made great strides:
- Returning more than $400 million to nearly six million consumers cheated by credit card companies.
- Standing up for students and families trapped in high-cost education loans
- Protecting military families against illegal foreclosures and deceptive education-loan practices
- Enabling consumers to finally know just how much they are charged for sending money overseas, and how much their family members actually receive
- Going after fraudulent companies that collect up-front fees for help they don’t deliver to desperate borrowers
- Beginning to monitor the out-of-control world of credit reporting and debt collection
- Giving financial consumers an effective way to complain about errors and misdeeds
Polls show strong and broad public support for the bureau, across party lines. No one has questioned Mr. Cordray’s qualifications or performance. Even many financial industry leaders agree that the CFPB, under his leadership, has been a fair and reasonable regulator.
It is wrong to hold up the nomination of a qualified leader, and hold hostage a law passed by Congress, signed by the President and supported by large majorities of the public. It is bad for consumers, bad for responsible lenders, and bad for the broader economy. We strongly encourage Senators to show they have the best interest of American consumers at heart and hold a full vote on the Cordray nomination.