Consumer Pick Vows to Streamline Regulations
New York Times
September 7, 2011
During a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing, Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau (CFPB) nominee Richard Cordray said that if he was confirmed, he would
use the agency's "bigger and more flexible toolbox" to enforce consumer
financial laws, use litigation judiciously, and prioritize the streamlining of
regulations. He noted that the number of regulations crafted over the last three
decades have burdened some banks and has discouraged them from lending.
Cordray's testimony aimed to assure lawmakers that as head of the CFPB, he and
the agency would be accountable to Congress, but Republican lawmakers remained
unconvinced saying that the bureau had too much unchecked power. Banking
Committee Ranking Republican member Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) said, "Unless the
bureau is reformed. It is only a matter of time before this concentration of
power is abused or misused to the detriment of American consumers and the
economy." Shelby is among the 44 Republicans who have pledged not to confirm the
CFPB director unless the Obama Administration agrees to change the agency's
structure. Among the changes republicans are seeking are changing the director's
position to a board of directors and subjecting the agency to the Congressional
appropriations process. The Financial Stability Oversight Council can overturn
CFPB regulations by a two-thirds majority, which Cordray admitted was a high
hurdle, but says that it would be unnecessary as the CFPB is required to
"communicate and consult with our fellow banking agencies."
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