Washington D.C. – Based on the hostile, industry-shilling, and often fact-free attacks lodged against CFPB Director Rohit Chopra by MAGA conservatives on the House Financial Services Committee this week, lobbyists for predatory lenders and big banks may as well have been the ones asking the questions directly. There is little doubt incoming Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and his top lieutenant, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), likely chair of one of the committee’s powerful subcommittees, are preparing to fill key majority staff positions with insiders from industries they are supposed to oversee. Government watchdog Accountable.US will be closely monitoring for these new hires that will help carry out McHenry’s telegraphed agenda of letting the financial industry write their own rules even when it comes at the expense of average consumers.
Who’s Next? Last year, McHenry hired a BGR Group lobbyist to serve as staff director for Committee Republicans. Accountable.US found that during the aide’s time lobbying at BGR, corporate clients paid the firm nearly $30 million, including $120,000 from Credit Suisse Securities USA, an investment banking company offering a variety of financial services.
Congressmen McHenry and Luetkemeyer have always behaved as if they really represent predatory lenders, Wall Street, and big banks -- and have been rewarded accordingly with more than $15 million in campaign checks from the financial industry. Filling their staff ranks with more industry insiders as they seize committee gavels becomes not a question of if, but when. Only politicians deep in the pocket of predatory industries would treat with contempt the CFPB’s track record of recouping nearly $15 billion on behalf of millions mistreated consumers. That helps explain the hostility on display this week from Congressmen McHenry and Luetkemeyer against the vital role the CFPB plays in protecting consumers from the likes of many of their biggest donors.”