WASHINGTON, DC — Once again showing support for their big bank mega donors, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote in lockstep for a joint resolution opposing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule to prevent discrimination in small business loans. A previous analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US found House Financial Services Committee Republicans have steep financial ties with the industry, including Chair Patrick McHenry who has taken over $1.8 million from commercial banks over his career.
In October, Senate Republicans went on record against preventing discrimination in small business loans, despite the fact that the rule is needed to increase access to credit for traditionally underserved business owners such as women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.
Discrimination should never be part of the norm. This vote will do nothing but sweep a very real issue under the rug to the benefit of big banks and industry titans. While House Republicans claim to be champions of small business, their actions prove otherwise. As they deny the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's authority to collect critical data, it’s clearer than ever that their industry glad-handing will always come at the expense of small businesses and working Americans.”
Liz Zelnick, Accountable.US’ Director Of Economic Security And Corporate Power.
The CFPB’s new rule requiring lenders to collect demographic data from small-business borrowers is currently in limbo after a Bush-appointed federal judge in Texas blocked the CFPB from enforcing the regulation in July. Plaintiffs in the anti-CFPB lawsuit include Texas Bankers Association and American Bankers Association, which teamed up on another lawsuit in Texas last year seeking to reverse the CFPB’s crackdown on illegal discrimination in the financial industry – while raising dubious arguments about the CFPB’s structure and authority.
The lawsuits and today’s vote in the House are part of a long-running, organized effort by the shady financial industry and their Republican allies to defang and defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because of its effectiveness in fighting for consumers over corporations and lower costs by banning junk fees and ending discrimination and predatory behavior.