Alert February 18, 2014

White House Issues Statement on House Bill to Alter CFPB

The White House issued a statement in opposition of the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 3193, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2013, citing that it would undermine critical Wall Street reforms and weaken important consumer protections by significantly lessening the independence of the CFPB. H.R. 3193 proposes to strengthen the review authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council by amending the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to replace the CFPB and its Director with a five-member Financial Product Safety Commission, permit the FSOC to set aside FPSC rules, and subject the agency to appropriations funding. According to the White House, H.R. 3193 would “compromise the independence of the [CFPB] by imposing unwarranted restrictions on a regulatory process that is already subject to significant oversight,” undermine the ability of the CFPB to carry out its mandate to protect consumers “independent of political pressures,” and “seriously weaken” the CFPB’s decision-making power with the imposition of a five-member commission instead of a director, among other things. Finally, the statement noted that the President’s senior advisors would recommend that the President veto the bill.