Dems appeal to colleagues: Keep CFPB strong to protect vets

by Ryan Smith31 Mar 2017

Two prominent Democratic senators are urging their colleagues to back the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because of its role in protecting military families and veterans from financial abuse.

In a letter to other senators, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) pointed out that the CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs has handled more than 70,000 complaints from members of the military and provided financial education at 148 military facilities across the country. Brown and Reed urged senators not to agree to any policies that would weaken the agency’s “structure, funding or independence.”

“CFPB enforcement and supervision makes it less likely that men and women on active duty are distracted by debt collectors, payday lenders, or problems with their mortgage servicers,” Brown and Reed wrote. “If Congress really wants to provide our servicemembers and their families with the best resources, then we should continue to support an independent and strong CFPB.”

Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, insist that the CFPB is too powerful and not accountable enough to either Congress or the president. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) chair of the House Financial Services Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, called the agency “an unconstitutional behemoth” with an “imperial director” in Richard Corday.

“It is time we hold Director Cordray responsible and restructure the CFPB within the framework of our Constitution,” Wagner said at a recent subcommittee hearing.

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Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?