WASHINGTON The House is scheduled to consider legislation this week that would drastically alter the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., would replace the agency's director with a five-person board and subject it to congressional appropriations, among other reforms. The legislation is based on a package of bills that passed the House Financial Services Committee last November.
"We know that this is an agency that was designed to be unique, if not perhaps rogue; it is an agency like no other," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the banking panel. "Arguably it is the single most powerful and least accountable Federal agency in the history of our nation and thus demands rigorous oversight. The American people deserve better."
Republicans have pushed for similar changes to the agency for years, though they lost some of their bargaining power after the Senate confirmed CFPB Director Richard Cordray last summer. But even if the legislation passes the House, which is likely, it will not become law with Democrats controlling the Senate and President Obama in the White House.
The vote is scheduled for Thursday.