Consumer advocate groups sounded an alarm on Tuesday over three bills scheduled to be marked up Wednesday by members of the House Financial Services Committee that the groups say would hobble the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The three bills are: H.R. 1121, the Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Bachus (right), R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which would replace the CFPB’s one director with a five-member board. H.R. 1315, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011 ; And the yet-to-be-named bill that would postpone the July start-up date for the CFPB until a director for the agency has been named.
Travis Plunkett, legislative director at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), said on a conference call on Tuesday, that if enacted, “all three of these bills would ensure a weak and timid CFPB.” Plunkett said that replacing the CFPB’s one director status with a five-member board would “stop the [CFPB] from acting quickly in helping consumers.”
Plunkett noted, too, that H.R. 1315 would "expand the ability of other regulators to 'veto' proposed rules by the CFPB." This bill, he continued, "is a very dangerous piece of legislation because it would handcuff the CFPB and make it hard for [the agency] to do its job."