Rep. Hensarling ‘Welcomes’ CFPB Director Cordray to Finance Hearing (Sept. 12, 2013)
Sept. 12, 2013
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), presented the agency’s semi-annual report to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services during an often contentious hearing this morning. Literally seconds after welcoming Cordray to this morning’s hearing, Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) assailed the agency for the relatively unchecked power granted to it by the Dodd-Frank Act.
“[The CFPB] is exempted from the Congressional budgetary and appropriations process. Unlike many other agencies, there is thus no check to ensure the CFPB director is spending the people’s money effectively to promote consumer protection, much less effectively in a time of runaway debt and deficits,” Hensarling said. The agency “demands rigorous oversight and, consequently, will undoubtedly demand numerous Congressional hearings and inquiries,” he added.
Cordray outlined the agency’s efforts to supervise debt collectors and credit reporting companies, enforcement actions against credit card companies that “deceived and misled” consumers, and policy recommendations for student loan reforms. Cordray’s report reflects the agency’s work over the last six months of 2012.
Cordray defended the CFPB, describing it as “the nation’s first federal agency whose sole focus is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace,” according to written testimony. “We are dedicated to improving the lives of everyday Americans and to restoring trust in consumer financial markets.”
Cordray’s report to the House committee was delayed until he was officially confirmed as CFPB director by the U.S. Senate, following heated debate across party lines. At least two lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of the CFPB or the appointment of Cordray are in play. The U.S. Supreme Court in June agreed to hear National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, and Kimberly Pisinski, a Connecticut-based attorney, in July filed a lawsuit against the CFPB claiming that the federal agency engaged in “abusive practices.”