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 Virginia Record.


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 for Growth.


“ABA has long supported this approach to reforming the CFPB in order to bring much-needed accountability and diversity of viewpoints,” ABA said.


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 director.”


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 authority.”


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 proposed reforms.


“These reforms would protect both consumers and job creators and would address the constitutional flaws in the CFPB’s current structure,” she said.


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.

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