WASHINGTON — Depending on which political party you talk to, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is either the most powerful federal agency ever created, or the most constrained.

While the truth lies somewhere in between, one thing is clear: Most of the claims made about the CFPB just aren't true. Republican assertions that the agency enjoys an unlimited budget and is exempt from congressional oversight, for example, are demonstrably false. But Democrats' contention that the CFPB is a severely restricted agency is also misleading.

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