the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, after a federal appeals court delivered a strong rebuke to the government’s new “consumer-finance watchdog”, declaring the agency’s unusual independence to be unconstitutional, and ordering its powers be curbed. Rep. Scott Garrett gave us his take on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) . In an email Garret spelled out the issues:
“This week, a federal court found that one of the most secretive Washington bureaucracies violates the constitutionally-mandated system of checks and balances designed to protect Americans from abuses of government authority. The court decided that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional because of its toxic combination of immense power and little accountability. As Chairman of the Financial Services subcommittee that is responsible for making sure our country has competitive and robust capital markets, I have worked with my colleagues on solutions to restructure the CFPB in a way that protects consumers while holding Washington accountable to We the People. The CFPB has oversized influence on the U.S. economy because it alone decides which financial products you are allowed to buy. Everything from mortgages, to car loans, to retirement savings, the CFPB’s current structure allows it to unilaterally infringe on the economic choices of every American.
With a single, politically appointed head and its ability to bypass Congress to get funding, the CFPB acts as a rogue federal bureaucracy. And while the CFPB has an important mission, it’s unacceptable to allow a single government agency to control how Americans can spend their own money.
In fact, in his decision on this case, Judge Brett Kavanaugh said, “Other than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government, at least when measured in terms of unilateral power.” As someone who has been an outspoken critic of this agency’s unchecked power, I completely agree.
To implement consumer protections that actually put people and families first, a complete re-organization of this bureaucracy is needed. I recently supported the Financial CHOICE Act, a bill that would transform the CFPB into a bipartisan, five-member commission which is subject to Congressional oversight and appropriations, just like other independent Washington agencies. This is the only way to ensure that Washington will actually do its job instead of acting in its own self-interest.
This ruling that the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional is a win for transparency, and for the checks and balances that protect American families from abuses by overzealous government bureaucrats. While stories like this don’t always make front page news, I feel it’s my responsibility to pass along information about my work and my priorities in Congress to the people of New Jersey’s Fifth District.”