With a 231-191 split along party lines, the House passed the Consumers First Act on Wednesday, May 22.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, introduced the legislation to “block the Trump Administration’s anti-consumer agenda and reverse their past efforts to undermine the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” per a statement released by the Committee.
Democrats are seeking to strengthen consumer protections they feel were weakened when Mick Mulvaney, current Director of the Office of Management and Budget and past acting director of the CFPB, oversaw the Bureau.
“Putting Mick Mulvaney in charge of the consumer financial protection bureau was the epitome of a fox guarding the hen house,” Representative Carolyn Maloney said in House floor speech, “so we have to undo all of the damage he did while he was acting director of the CFPB.”
It’s a potentially small victory for House Democrats. The Consumers First Act will have a tougher time passing the Republican-controlled Senate, and even if that were to happen, Trump has promised to veto the bill should it cross his desk.
We’ve followed the Consumers First Act from the beginning, up through its passage through the House Financial Services Committee.
The Bureau is a highly-politicized entity, and will likely be a lightning rod for administrations going forward. Republicans position the Bureau as anti-business, and continually seek to defang it. Democrats see empowering and protecting consumers—regardless of the burden placed on legitimate business acting in good faith— as necessary in a landscape seemingly fraught with fraud and scams.
We’ll follow the Consumers First Act as it makes its way through the process, but, as noted above, it’s unlikely to get very far with the current president’s “veto” stamp at the ready.