(Photo: National Law Journal)

Democratic lawmakers are up in arms over legislation introduced recently that would give the Trump administration the power to block rules proposed by independent agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The bill, the OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act, H.R. 1009, introduced by Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., on Feb. 13 and referred to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, would require the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to review regulations.

The OIRA is a unit of the Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the office of the president.

The bill also requires that administrator to convene a working group to be known as the Regulatory Working Group.

Under the legislation, federal agencies would be required to file, no later than June 1 of each year, to approve and submit to the administrator a “regulatory plan that includes each significant regulatory action that the agency reasonably expects to issue in proposed or final form in the following fiscal year or thereafter” and a retrospective review.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking minority member on the House Financial Services Committee, said Wednesday that H.R. 1009 “would empower Trump’s White House to block all of the independent financial agencies’ proposed actions to protect our economy.”

Worse, she continued, “the bill empowers President Trump’s advisors to influence monetary policy, including interest rates that affect America’s mortgages, credit cards and IRAs.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would have to “first receive the OK from Trump’s administration, packed with Wall Street insiders, before they could protect the American public,” adding that the administration could block the CFPB’s recent proposal to stop payday lender debt traps.

“These agencies would be directed to write rules favorable to industry, subjecting individuals once again to predatory practices,” Waters said.

Waters voiced her concern as well that the bill “gives the Trump administration a say” in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions. “The importance of Fed independence is well established, and results in objective, nonpolitical policymaking and a high degree of credibility with financial markets.”

— Check out Trump Orders Federal Agencies to Appoint a Reg Reform Officer on ThinkAdvisor.