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Letter to President Obama - Accountability at CFPB

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) today joined 42 Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to make structural changes at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Senators commit not to confirm any nominees to the CFPB until changes are made.

"The Dodd-Frank bill created an all-powerful superbureaucracy that goes well beyond the need for targeted regulation to prevent what has happened in the last five years," Vitter said. "This bureau is a huge overreach, and structural changes must be made to create both accountability and checks and balances. We don't need one all-powerful credit czar to rule the economy and decide which products consumers should use. We need a balanced approach to consumer protection which incorporates the safety and soundness of the financial institutions."

In the letter, the Senators call for three specific reforms to the Bureau's structure:

1. Establish a bipartisan board of directors to oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

2. Subject the Bureau to the annual appropriation process, similar to other federal regulators.

3. Establish a safety-and-soundness check for the prudential regulators.

Vitter signed a letter in May 2011 with 44 Senate colleagues stating that they would not confirm any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the Director of the new CFPB unless structural changes are made to hold the Bureau more accountable to the American people.

The text of today's letter is below.

February 1, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500-0005
Dear Mr. President:

As supporters of strong and effective consumer protections, we write to you to reaffirm our concerns over the transparency and accountability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As outlined in our letter of May 2, 2011, we have serious concerns about the lack of congressional oversight of the agency and the lack of normal, democratic checks on its sole director, who would wield nearly unprecedented powers. Accordingly, we will continue to oppose the consideration of any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the CFPB director until key structural changes are made to ensure accountability and transparency at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As presently organized, the CFPB is insulated from congressional oversight of its actions and its budget. Far too much power is vested in the sole CFPB director without any meaningful checks and balances. We again urge the adoptions of the following reforms:

1. Establish a bipartisan board of directors to oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

2. Subject the Bureau to the annual appropriation process, similar to other federal regulators.

3. Establish a safety-and-soundness check for the prudential regulators.
We believe these are commonsense reforms that Congress can promptly adopt on a bipartisan basis. It is essential that we address these reforms prior to confirming any nominee to be the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We look forward to working with you to address these necessary reforms.


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