U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry’s opening statements at this week’s House Financial Services Committee hearing focused on a CFPB data breach and its rulemaking practices, while Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters expressed support for the bureau related to the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging its funding and structure.
11/29/2023 1:15 P.M.
2.5 minute read
The House Financial Services Committee held one of two hearings with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra Nov. 29, starting with opening statements from committee leadership on issues ranging from internal bureau practices to its regulatory and enforcement practices.
“The public’s trust in our financial regulators is shaken,” said U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and chair of the committee in his opening remarks.
McHenry referenced a data breach at the CFPB earlier this year, which was caused by a former bureau employee forwarding sensitive financial and supervisory information on consumers and banks to their own email account.
Members of Congress demanded answers from the bureau about its investigation into the incident, ACA International previously reported.
McHenry also inquired about Chopra’s role on the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and his knowledge related to allegations of “workplace misconduct” under the leadership of Chairman Martin Gruenberg.
“This string of scandals has left many—myself included—questioning whether these agencies are up to the task of protecting consumers and ensuring the safety and soundness of our financial system,” McHenry said. “When they’re not dealing with internal mismanagement, the Biden [a]dministration’s supposedly independent financial regulators are busy serving as political actors. Director Chopra, your CFPB is a glaring example of this alarming trend—becoming a hyper-partisan agency doing the bidding of the White House rather than protecting American consumers.”
McHenry concluded with an announcement that House Republicans will pass a resolution this week to rescind the bureau’s small business data collection rulemaking as well as support for the bureau’s actions thus far in a rulemaking on data privacy.
The Senate already passed a resolution overturning the rule in late October, ACA previously reported, but the action faces a veto by the White House.
Ranking Member of the committee, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said in her opening remarks she opposed the effort to rescind the small business rulemaking, which “would help reduce borrowing costs for small businesses by creating a more transparent, competitive marketplace and combat discriminatory lending practices. I am disappointed that Republicans are moving forward with this anti-small business effort, and I would remind my colleagues that market transparency is a fundamental pillar of free market capitalism and that is exactly what this rule is focused on.”
Waters also touched on the U.S. Supreme Court case on the CFPB’s funding structure, stating it is constitutional and that “gutting the only agency dedicated to protecting our nation’s consumers in the financial marketplace will harm our economy and communities.”
ACA will provide more coverage of the hearing in ACA Daily as well as Chopra’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Nov. 30.
ACA outlined concerns with the bureau’s recent sweeping proposals related to medical debt credit reporting and other matters in letters urging Congress to look at the bureau’s actions, processes and statutory authority, highlighted here.