Newt Gingrich: Congress Must Reclaim Consumer Finance Bureauposted October 8, 2015
By Newt Gingrich – October 8, 2015
Government bureaucracies have a way of acquiring more rather than less power and resilience over time as people come to assume — because they exist — that everything they do serves legitimate and important public purposes. We forget, in other words, how we managed to get along without them.
Congress has been consumed in the past few months with a fight over the Export-Import Bank, which was created in 1934 and now persists and grows regardless of its merits. The special interests that came to dominate the agency still prop it up eight decades later despite congressional opposition to many of its activities. But while Congress is in a standoff over this 80-year-old institution, it should be even more alarmed that it’s allowing another bureaucratic monster to mature — one that’s unchecked by Congress, questionably constitutional, scandal-plagued, and even more prone to capture by special interests.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the mammoth new financial regulator created by the Dodd-Frank law at President Obama’s urging, has dramatically extended its powers over the past five years through rule writing and an expansive interpretation of its mandate.
It’s critical that Congress pass CFPB reform before the 2016 elections to rein in the agency’s excesses, bring it under Congress’s control, and refocus its mission. If Congress does not reassert its authority over the CFPB now, when there is political attention on the regulator and Republicans hold majorities in both houses of Congress, the agency will only become more firmly entrenched and ungovernable.
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