The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director
Office: 202-546-9707

Congress Should Reject Attempts to Put "Knife in the Ribs" of CFPB


U.S. PIRG and other members of Americans for Financial Reform are urging the House of Representatives to reject three proposed bills designed to defang and delay the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

"American consumers, including senior citizens and military servicemembers, need the CFPB to protect them from the unfair financial practices that triggered the financial collapse in 2008," said U.S. PIRG consumer program director Ed Mierzwinski. "The Wall Street banks are pushing these bills, even though it was their unchecked practices that wrecked the economy and left millions of consumers without homes, millions more without jobs, and caused a loss of trillions of dollars in retirement savings."
The first bill, HR 1121, from full committee chairman Spencer Bachus (AL), would eliminate the CFPB's director and replace it with a weaker 5-member commission. "A commission was considered and rejected by the Congress a year ago," said Mierzwinski. "But proposing it again less than 80 days before the new bureau starts work is nothing less than purposely throwing a wrench into the works."
The second bill, HR 1315, from Rep. Sean Duffy (WI), "turns an already-existing and unique veto power of other regulators over CFPB decisions into a virtual rubber stamp for the bureau's opponents," according to Mierzwinski. "And the yet-to-be-introduced proposal from subcommittee chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV) to delay the July 21 date until a director is in place leaves consumers with the same failed regulators we had before."
Last week, Professor Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the agency, said the industry wants to "stick a knife in the ribs" of the CFPB ("The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, April 26).
"Professor Warren is correct," concluded Mierzwinski. "These industry-backed bills are designed to stop the agency from doing its only job - protecting consumers. Congress should reject these wrong-headed proposals."

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.