Consumer Protection? Not on Trump’s Watch

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been a godsend to the average American over the past six years, but President Donald Trump and his Republican cronies don’t necessarily see it that way. In fact, they’re poised to rip an agency known for looking out for the little guy to shreds.

As Fortune explains, the CFPB has successfully returned nearly $12 billion to roughly 29 million consumers. Broken down, that amounts to one-eleventh of the American population recovering an average of over $400 after being cheated by wealthy companies. That’s no small feat.

The CFPB’s most notable score was last year’s massive $100 million fine against Wells Fargo for creating phony accounts in customers’ names and charging them. Additionally, the CFPB has taken back money from big bank credit card schemes, fraudulent for-profit colleges, mortgage companies that engaged in illegal foreclosure practices and sneaky payday lending firms.

Despite all of the CFPB’s victories thus far, Republicans have, per usual, taken the side of big business and decided to try to cripple the agency’s ability to take corporations to task.

Conservatives’ main excuses against keeping the CFPB is that it operates independently and is therefore not accountable to our elected officials. Additionally, Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin doesn’t think it’s appropriate for it to be funded out of the Federal Reserve.

Elizabeth Warren is not impressed with her Republican colleague’s arguments. She helped devise the CFPB before she joined Congress in response to the many illicit actions taken by large corporations that hurt consumers and contributed to a massive recession in 2008.

“The CFPB gets an independent source of funding, like every other federal banking agency in U.S. history, so that it can hold banks like Wells Fargo accountable without fearing budget cuts from big bank allies in Congress,” said Sen. Warren.

She continued, “If Mr. Mnuchin and others push to change the consumer agency’s funding source, they will be declaring loud and clear that they care more about pleasing big banks than protecting working families and the safety of our financial system.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senators Mike Lee and Ben Sasse, representing Utah and Nebraska respectively, have delivered a letter to the president, asking him to boot the agency’s head, Richard Cordray – presumably because he’s done too good a job at taking money back from companies.

There’s a catch, though: Cordray’s term does not end for another year and a half, so if Trump tries to fire him, it will probably wind up in the courts.

In fact, this issue has already gone to court, when conservatives argued that the CFPB was unconstitutional. Republicans were hoping to get rid of the agency altogether, but the federal appeals judges ruled that the president should just have the right to fire the CFPB chief instead. This decision has not gone into effect yet, though, as an appeal is pending.

As The Week points out, the pair of senators leading the charge to dump Cordray are two Republicans known for being some of the more “reasonable” people on the conservative side of the aisle. Lee has advocated for economic policies that benefit the greater community, while Sasse unambiguously opposed Trump’s candidacy last year.

If this is the work of the “reasonable” senators, however, it’s hard to imagine that the CFPB has a real shot of surviving in a Republican Congress.

While other agencies that have power to regulate businesses exist, they are saddled with other responsibilities that take more of a priority. By devoting an agency specifically to looking out for consumers, it’s one of the first times in recent history that that type of work was being done efficiently.

If indications are right and Trump does decide to trash the CFPB, it’ll be a slap in the face to the voters who bought his campaign promises of looking out for lower and middle class Americans rather than being beholden to big business interests.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

86 comments

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for posting!

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Dear Jesus, please help so that Mr President will do his job the good way to help all the men, women, and children. Please do not hurt the earth: the air, the water, the land, the animals, the children, the women, the men; the parks. You were not hired to hurt us -- all of us -- the citizens of the USA.

Everything that I say can be used together for good to bless and not curse me.

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Dear Jesus, please help so that Mr President will do his job the good way to help all the men, women, and children. Please do not hurt the earth: the air, the water, the land, the animals, the children, the women, the men; the parks. You were not hired to hurt us -- all of us -- the citizens of the USA.

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Everything that I say can be used together for good to bless and not curse me.

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Thank you for the article. Please through Christ Jesus the son of God, Bless all the men, women, and children -- who you have chosen before the foundation of the earth, and please God bless the earth to have clean air, clean water, and clean land, and produce good clean produce and foods for the men, women, and children whom he has chosen, and he knows who they are. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ? -- JUDGE NOT AT ALL, OR YOU COULD BE JUDGED. MAY GOD SPARE ME, amen.

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Through Christ Jesus, the Son of God, God the Father, and Holy Spirit -- who have Love -- Dear God please protect the land, the air, the water, and all the creation from all evil as much as possible. The President is to serve the Lord Christ Jesus, and The Almighty will deal with the president through Christ Jesus Name. The people who the president put in place are to serve the Lord Christ Jesus and The Almighty Lord will deal with Them.

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Karen H
Karen H2 years ago

I'm up to 43 emails at this point. There was one positive one to Rubio, after he gave a really good speech in the Senate. The rest? Well...

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heather g
heather g2 years ago

Respond to everything that is not in voters' best interest. I like Karen H's comment below....

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Karen H
Karen H2 years ago

Latest count on my emails and petitions to my congressman and senators is close to 30. Each and every one tells them to support the people instead of being Trump's puppet or their constituents will not vote for them when the come up for re-election.

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