The United States House of Representatives is considering a bill this week that will require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to meet its statutory purpose. The bill, H.R. 1500 is a reintroduction of the Consumers First Act, a bill to block the Trump Administration’s anti-consumer agenda and reverse their past efforts to undermine the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Consumer Bureau).
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the reintroduction of H.R. 1500, which also authorizes supervision of financial firms for Military Lending Act compliance, restores the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, reestablishes a dedicated student loan office, limits the number of political appointees the Consumer Bureau may hire to address allegations that they suppressed the work of dedicated, professional staff, mandates the consumer complaint database to remain transparent and publicly accessible, reinstates the Consumer Advisory Board with protections to ensure consumer voices are well represented and encourages greater cooperation with other government agencies, like the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense.
President Donald Trump unlawfully appointed Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, to run the Consumer Bureau as Acting Director, allowing a White House official to run what should be an independent regulatory agency, creating potential conflicts of interest arising from Mulvaney’s dual role running the OMB and Consumer Bureau.
Once embedded, Mulvaney dispatched a number of political appointees to control the work of the professional, career employees. In February, Chairwoman Waters sent a letter to the dedicated public servants of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to address the challenges they have faced since Mulvaney’s tenure began in 2017 and assure them that she will use the full range of the Committee’s oversight authorities to prevent any efforts to weaken the Consumer Bureau.