Donald Trump and his magic Republican Congress are disappearing anything that helps voters so fast people’s heads are spinning. They are gutting one of the people’s most important protections that President Barack Obama designed.
The Republicans and the banking industry have placed a huge target on the back of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, Richard Cordray.
After the near financial crash in 2008, President Obama took office and implemented the CFPB. Its job is to regulate how banks and financial companies treat their customers.
Congress slashed an important consumer protection last month that used to allow people to sue their banks. After extended attacks, Cordray announced Wednesday that he would step down from his role by the end of the month.
CFPB has stood alone to protect individuals from illegal and unethical measures on everything from payday loans to mortgages.
The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law was based upon Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts’ plan. It’s purpose was to create safeguards to protect Americans from predatory lending.
Warren told CNN Money that the CFPB protects:
‘Working families. (That is why the Republicans, financial institutions) are so eager to
strangle the agency.’
The bureau pulled fines in the amount of billions from Wells Fargo just last year for opening accounts in the names of people who did not request them and did not even know about them.
Wall Street has a particular animosity toward the agency, because it is independent of Congress. People on Wall Street call CFPB a “rogue” agency, because Congress does not fund it, it has a single director, and the president cannot control it.
With Cordray leaving, Trump can remake or virtually eliminate the agency.
In a message to his employees, Cordray said, according to The Washington Post:
‘I wanted to share with each of you directly what I have told the senior leadership in the past few days, which is that I expect to step down from my position here before the end of the month.’
Cordray continued, the Washington Post wrote:
‘As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here.’
Republicans did not want the CFPB in the first place. Their argument was that it made it hard for people to get a home mortgage. They also said the CFPB over-regulated industries, such as auto loans.
Chair of the House Financial Services Committee and one of CFPB’s harshest critics, Republican Jeb Hensarling said:
‘We are long overdue for new leadership at the CFPB, a rogue agency that has done more to hurt consumers than help them. The extreme overregulation it imposes on our economy leads to higher costs and less access to financial products and services, particularly for Americans with lower and middle incomes.’
Cordray refused to answer questions about his future. Some have speculated that he may make a run for Ohio’s governor. If so, he must declare his intentions by February 2018. At one time, he served as the state’s attorney general.
One site, www.cordray2018.com, seems to promote that idea, but negatively. It attacks the CFPB as “one of America’s most corrupt government agencies.”
Featured Image via Getty Images/Win McNamee.