WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) supports
the type of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight reform proposed by a
bill introduced Jan. 13.
“Sen. Capito supports CFPB reforms, like an independent
inspector general, replacing the single director with a bipartisan commission
and making CFPB subject to the annual congressional appropriations process,”
Capito Spokeswoman Ashley Berrang told The West
Under a bill introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen.
Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the CFPB reforms would
include swapping single-director CFPB oversight with a five-member commission.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) also strongly
believes CFPB reform is necessary, according to a statement from the
association, and the ABA has stressed the need for reform in its 2017 Blueprint
“ABA has long supported this approach to reforming the CFPB
in order to bring much-needed accountability and diversity of viewpoints,” ABA
In addition, ABA said the proposed change in CFPB leadership
would mean the bureau would be “similar to other financial regulators,
including the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the Securities and Exchange Commission
and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”
Addressing its longstanding call for reform, the ABA said in
a Nov. 19, 2013, letter to members of the House Committee on Financial Services that
“ABA has long supported the commission concept and believes that a commission
structure is appropriate to address the extremely broad authority of the bureau’s
Specifically, the commission said it believes that switching
to commission oversight from a single director would “broaden the perspective
on any rulemaking and enforcement activity of the bureau, and it would provide
needed balance and appropriate checks in the exercise of the bureau’s
In the letter, the ABA called on the committee to include
wording in the proposed legislation that requires the commission’s membership
to include those with “consumer finance business experience and direct safety
and soundness regulatory expertise.”
“(CFPB reform bills) are a few of many options to address
concerns about the role of the bureau and its exercise of power,” ABA said in
the November 2013 letter.
Berrang echoed ABA’s sentiments on the benefits of the
“These reforms would protect both consumers and job creators
and would address the constitutional flaws in the CFPB’s current structure,”
According to Berrang, consumer protection is very important
to the senator.
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has found that
the structure of the CFPB created by Dodd-Frank is unconstitutional,” Berrang
said. “Sen. Capito believes that policies that protect consumers must be
enforced, and under our constitutional system, all agencies of the federal
government must be subject to oversight by Congress.”
In June 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives’ appropriations
committee passed a Financial Services and General Government Appropriations
bill for fiscal year 2017 that included the change from the one-director
oversight system for the CFPB to a five-member commission.
The office of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) did not respond to
requests for comment on the proposed board oversight reform bill.