The House Financial Services Committee is urging Americans to come forward with stories about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “has impacted them as consumers, as business owners or how the Bureau has affected their customers.”
In an open letter to America, committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said that he wants to hold the CFPB accountable. “Holding Washington accountable to hardworking taxpayers is a never-ending battle. That’s especially true when it comes to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the most powerful and least accountable government agency in all of Washington,” said Hensarling.
The invitation directs consumers and businesses to an online form where they can submit their story and contact information. The committee’s web form gives individuals the choice of having their story shared publicly or kept confidential. The committee website also explains that individuals who would rather call to record their story about the Bureau’s work can dial (240) 490-2372 and leave a message.
If the invitation wasn’t explicit enough in what kind of stories the committee is looking for, the web form leaves no doubt.
“The CFPB is adding piles of new, burdensome regulations on job creators, making it harder for them to grow their businesses, create jobs and meet the needs of their customers,” language on the form reads.
House Republicans have long sought to blunt the power vested to the CFPB by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010. The most commonly desired reform for the Bureau is to replace the Director position with a five-member Commission structure, similar to the Federal Trade Commission, and to subject the CFPB to direct Congressional appropriations.
The CFPB is currently funded from within the Federal Reserve and does not rely on Congress for money for its operations. The Bureau does, however, formally report to Congress on its activities.
Opponents of the agency are also concerned that the CFPB is collecting vast amounts of consumer credit data for research purposes.