Cortez Masto Urges President to Swiftly Nominate Aggressive Head of Consumer Watchdog
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and 43 other senators in a letter urging President Trump to follow the law and swiftly nominate a permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) who will put working families ahead of Wall Street.
In their letter, the senators cited the CFPB’s “aggressive enforcement and supervision,” which has resulted in $12 billion in relief to 29 million American consumers who were cheated by financial companies.
The Senators also expressed serious concerns with the White House installing Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as part-time acting director on November 24th , despite clear language in the Dodd-Frank law stating that the Deputy Director, Leandra English, ‘shall’ run the agency in the ‘absence or unavailability’ of the director. Mulvaney has a clear record opposing the CFPB and has sought to abolish it.
In his first act as part-time acting director, Mulvaney moved to freeze the payments to working Americans who’ve been cheated.
“Assigning leadership of the CFPB to someone who already has a full-time job reporting to the White House and who does not believe in the CFPB’s mission jeopardizes the agency’s independence and effectiveness,” the members wrote. “We urge you to nominate a CFPB Director who will bring to the job both bipartisan support and a track record of being tough on Wall Street. Following the Dodd-Frank succession provision and nominating a Director who will fight for consumers allows the CFPB to continue its work without political interference.”
The full text of the letter is below and available here.
December 4, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump,
After the 2008 financial crisis wiped out trillions of dollars of wealth and the jobs of millions of Americans, Congress passed important financial reforms and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent watchdog to protect people from financial scams.
Through aggressive enforcement and supervision, CFPB actions have resulted in $12 billion in relief for more than 29 million American consumers who were cheated by financial companies. The CFPB has taken almost 200 enforcement actions: against mortgage schemes that rip off struggling borrowers, against predatory financial firms that set up shop next to military bases to target servicemembers, against scam for-profit schools that take advantage of veterans’ benefits, and against companies that train their employees to trap consumers in debt.
These are the enforcement results that the National Fraternal Order of Police and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general expected when they endorsed Rich Cordray’s nomination and said he would be “an effective partner in combating fraud and other illegal schemes[.]”
His nomination passed the Senate with 66 votes, including 12 Republicans.
In a 2016 campaign speech, you said “…[T]his election is a choice between taking our government back from the special interests, or surrendering our last scrap of independence to their total and complete control.” Polling shows that the vast majority of Americans agree that the CFPB has been doing great work holding special interests accountable. 74% of Americans -- Republicans and Democrats -- approve of the CFPB’s mission and 55% of Republicans who voted for you believe that the CFPB should be left alone to do its work or even be given expanded authority to do more.
Assigning leadership of the CFPB to someone who already has a full-time job reporting to the White House and who does not believe in the CFPB’s mission jeopardizes the agency’s independence and effectiveness. We urge you to nominate a CFPB Director who will bring to the job both bipartisan support and a track record of being tough on big banks and other financial firms that rip off consumers. Following the Dodd-Frank succession provision and nominating a Director who will fight for consumers allows the CFPB to continue its work without political interference.
Please stand up for American military servicemembers and veterans, students, seniors and workers.
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