June 30, 2015

Congress Takes Steps to Keep Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Line

Todd Zywicki

Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Chad Reese

Former Managing Editor
Summary

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House Financial Services Committee voted out 11 bipartisan reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act, including two (H.R. 1265 and H.R. 1195) that would write into law certain practices that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has voluntarily adopted. And while the committee's ranking member, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., expressed support for the mandates as harmless, she also criticized them for "unnecessarily" codifying into law policies that the bureau already put into place.

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Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House Financial Services Committee voted out 11 bipartisan reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act, including two (H.R. 1265 and H.R. 1195) that would write into law certain practices that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has voluntarily adopted. And while the committee's ranking member, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., expressed support for the mandates as harmless, she also criticized them for "unnecessarily" codifying into law policies that the bureau already put into place.

But just because the bureau grudgingly acquiesced to certain needed reforms does not render Congress' actions redundant. Repeated complaints about the bureau's transparency led to it opening up some of its meetings to additional public scrutiny. Rep. Sean Duffy's, R-Wis., H.R. 1265 would make this transparency permanent by requiring the bureau to comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

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