Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Many of the Committee’s questions and comments focused on whether the CFPB should undergo structural changes. Specifically, committee members discussed whether the CFPB should be subjected to the Congressional appropriations process and whether the CFPB Director should be replaced with a board of directors or commission.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated that restructuring is needed to provide greater oversight of the CFBP. “Unfortunately, Congress does not have control over how the bureau spends its funds because the CFPB operates outside of the appropriations process,” Shelby said. “By putting the bureau through the appropriations process and establishing a board of directors, it would resemble other independent agencies and provide Congress with the ability to conduct meaningful oversight,” he continued. Chairman Shelby further warned, “the time will come when we reassert our constitutional prerogative that the supporters of Dodd-Frank sacrificed five years ago in the name of bureaucratic independence.”
Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), responded to the restructuring proposals by stating that it would “cripple” the CFPB. He further stated “I will continue to fight all of these attempts to destabilize the CFPB . . . consumers deserve a strong watchdog that can do its job independently.”
An archived webcast of the full hearing may be found on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, Urban Affairs website.