Trump Win Results in Battle Lines Being Drawn
Republican legislators and business associations, emboldened by Donald Trump’s successful presidential bid, have set their sights on the CFPB, an agency that’s been in Republicans’ crosshairs since the day it was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Meanwhile, retailers are calling on Congress to steer clear of introducing legislation that would repeal financial services reforms they say are critical to U.S. businesses and consumers.
Although Trump hasn’t addressed the CFPB in particular, he’s a known opponent of the Dodd-Frank Act and his transition team wants to dismantle it, according to a Wall Street Journal report. “I am encouraged that the Trump administration seems eager to combat this regulatory overreach, and I look forward to working with them in those efforts,” U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told The Wall Street Journal.
Jim Nussle, head of the Credit Union National Association, also called on the CFPB to “cease its pending rulemaking,” adding that the agency has “stifled” the industry’s ability to serve its customers, the WSJ report noted.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) in September introduced The Financial CHOICE Act (HR 5983), which represents a near-complete overhaul of the CFPB. The legislation would eliminate Director Richard Cordray’s position, replacing it with a bipartisan, five-member commission; make the commission subject to congressional oversight and appropriations; require the commission to obtain permission before collecting personally identifiable information on consumers; repeal its authority to ban bank products or services it deems abusive and annul its authority to prohibit arbitration.
On the other side of the battle line, more than 600 retailers sent a letter Nov. 15 to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging them not to introduce legislation that would repeal financial reforms “critical” to U.S. businesses and customers. “The debit card fee and rule reforms prescribed in Section 1075 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have provided significant relief to Main Street businesses from anti-free market practices employed by global credit and debit card brands,” according to the letter.
The letter also referenced HR 5983, which the retailers say “would dismantle the substantial progress debit reforms have made in correcting in part an otherwise non-functioning, and non-transparent card acceptance marketplace.”