On April 5, CFPB Director Richard Cordray appeared before the House Financial Services Committee in order to “report on the Bureau’s activities and face questions from lawmakers about the harm those activities cause consumers.” As explained in a memorandum issued by the Committee in advance of the hearing, Section 1016 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau Director to publish a semi-annual report on the Bureau’s activities and to testify on the report before the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees. The April 5 hearing explored the Bureau’s most recent two reports—Spring 2016 and Fall 2016.
Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) used Wednesday’s hearing to, among other things, make a case for the firing of the Director for cause. Describing the Bureau as an “unelected, unaccountable and unconstitutional” agency, the Chairman argued that “[f]or all the harm inflicted upon consumers, [Director Cordray] should be dismissed by the President.” The Chairman thereafter “call[ed] upon the president—yet again—to do just that, and to do it immediately.” In addition to debating the constitutionality of the agency, the Committee also spent time discussing the timing (and true extent) of the Bureau’s involvement in certain recent investigations and enforcement actions the CFPB has taken credit for.
Meanwhile, the Democrats on the Committee urged Cordray to stand firm amid efforts to oust him. In her opening statement, the Panel’s Ranking Member, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) thanked the Director for his “sustained strong leadership” and for “doing exactly the job [he is] supposed to do,” and “doing it well.” Rep. Waters also characterized the Bureau as “an invaluable ally to consumers” whose “work must continue.” Read more here.