Elizabeth Warren, chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), warned consumer groups on Thursday that while American families now “have the agency they need, they will have to fight to save it” from the “Goliaths” like lobbying groups and members of Congress who want to weaken it. There will be those who want to “deny” the CFPB “authority, funds, and a place in government,” Warren said during a speech at the Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) financial services conference in Washington.
Indeed, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said in remarks at the same conference that “top” on his list of priorities will be making sure Congress has more oversight over the CFPB. Another priority for the next Congress, he said, will be “watching the implementation of Dodd-Frank so that it doesn’t become more far-reaching.”
With 240 rulemakings required under Dodd-Frank, there will be “unintended consequences” stemming from those rulemakings that “will influence market forces,” he said. Neugebauer noted that “technical fixes” will need to be made to Dodd-Frank. He also predicted that Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., ranking GOP member on the House Financial Services Committee, will be, as expected, the committee’s new leader. Bachus has already voiced concerns about the “power” the CFPB wields and Warren’s willingness to testify before Congress.
In laying out her priorities in building the CFPB from “the ground up,” Warren said the agency will refrain from focusing on “targeted rulemakings,” as it would “limit” what the agency could achieve. “Targeted rules,” she said, “don’t fundamentally change credit markets.” Instead, she said, “we need to think more expansively about credit regulations and credit markets.”