Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's ruling on President Obama's alleged "recess" appointments:
"President Obama's administration has too often demonstrated a disregard for legislative authority and the separation of powers. In making these appointments, he essentially tried to erase from our Constitution the requirement -- placed there by America's founders -- that senior executive branch officials be appointed only with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. This Constitutional requirement is a check on the abuse of executive power, and clearly President Obama overreached.
"This ruling makes clear that the President's alleged recess appointment of the CFPB director is unlawful or unconstitutional or both. It also clearly calls into question the legal validity of any and all actions undertaken by the CFPB since this appointment was made, adding even greater uncertainty to our still struggling economy.
"As it is currently structured, the CFPB is the most powerful and least accountable agency in all of Washington. The Dodd-Frank Act places the CFPB under the control of a single person who has sole authority to command more than 1,000 government employees and spend hundreds of millions of dollars -- no questions asked. In addition, the CFPB director has unprecedented power to decide what financial products and services will -- and will not -- be available to everyday American consumers. No one unelected bureaucrat should have the power to deny a credit card to a hardworking single mother who is trying to put food on the table for her children.
"Congress and the Administration should take this opportunity to make common sense reforms to the CFPB so it is transparent and accountable to the American people. At a bare minimum, the CFPB should be governed by a bipartisan commission -- which is how other federal agencies charged with consumer or investor protection operate. And to ensure there is proper oversight of this massive bureaucracy, the CFPB should be subject to the same appropriations process as other agencies. The House passed similar legislation in the last session of Congress and our committee will once again advance a proposal to bring accountability and oversight to the CFPB.
"I commend those senators who continue to insist on first making the CFPB accountable before approving any nominee for director. It's time for the President to work with those of us who want stronger consumer protections and accountability of this government agency."