WASHINGTON, DC — Tomorrow, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra will deliver his semi-annual report before the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee. He is expected to highlight the agency’s work defending American families from shady financial practices by Wall Street, big banks, predatory lenders, and debt collectors. While Director Chopra has faced bitter questioning from committee Republicans who are cozy with the financial industry before, tomorrow is the first time he will address the committee since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the CFPB’s funding structure constitutional. 

It’s disheartening, yet unsurprising, to see Chair McHenry and his colleagues continue to side with financial giants at the expense of everyday families. The CFPB’s efforts have returned billions to consumers, proving the agency's essential role in ensuring a fair financial marketplace. In light of the Supreme Court’s clear ruling, Republicans in House Financial Services should apologize for their baseless claims that the CFPB's funding is unconstitutional and instead lend their efforts to protecting American consumers.”

Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick

Even with the Supreme Court ruling, HFSC members like Rep. Andy Barr—who is running to chair the committee—have continued to baselessly question the agency’s standing. Rep. Barr has already moved to place the CFPB under congressional appropriations. 

Government watchdog Accountable.US has frequently documented HFSC Chair Patrick McHenry and his top lieutenants’ close relationship with financial industry leaders and lobbyists, including their efforts to defund the CFPB despite the agency’s role returning $20.7 billion to American families through enforcement actions. 

Chair McHenry has taken over $5 million alone from the broad financial industry over his career, according to an Accountable.US analysis. This includes over $700,000 from just three major banks still reliant on junk fees and industry groups who opposed efforts to rein in overdraft practices. McHenry’s top committee lieutenants Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Rep. Barr have together taken over $10 million from the financial industry they oversee. 

Their close financial ties have had a clear influence on Chair McHenry, Rep. Luetkemeyer, and Rep. Barr‘s policies and rhetoric. At the beginning of the year, Chair McHenry and Rep. Barr were caught parroting industry talking points in a release condemning the CFPB’s proposal to rein in bank overdraft fees. In their statement, they neglected to mention that they have together taken $1 million from just the 10 largest banks still charging overdraft fees. And last year, Rep. Luetkemeyer made headlines when he claimed junk fees “don’t exist.” 

Most recently, Chair McHenry has condemned the CFPB’s new proposal to ban medical bills from most credit reports—an initiative that would erase as much as $49 billion worth of medical debts unfairly tarnishing credit scores.

Read more about Chair McHenry and HFSC’s financial industry ties at https://themagaprofiles.org/ 

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