Washington D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US announced ‘The MAGA Economics’ project, a regularly updated public resource to see why key MAGA Republicans in the House and Senate are putting industry special interests before consumers and the economy. The first two profiles in the series spotlight House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) who runs the powerful National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions subcommittee. The new effort comes as the HFSC holds its first major markup session today. [Click the names to view the MAGA Economics profiles for Patrick McHenry and Blaine Luetkemeyer]
In the coming weeks, Accountable.US will release additional MAGA Economics Profiles – further detailing how key members of HFSC and the Senate Banking Committee have done the bidding of industries including predatory lenders, greedy landlords, and big banks at the expense of consumers after taking substantial amounts of money from industry sectors they are supposed to oversee.
Chairman McHenry has already begun rolling out the MAGA majority’s anti-consumer agenda in earnest on behalf of their major donors in the financial industry, including “slam[ming]” the Biden’s administration’s hugely popular crackdown on abusive junk fees after McHenry took over $1.1 million from the eight largest credit card issuers and banking industry trade groups. McHenry is pushing legislation that jeopardizes consumer protections by replacing the CFPB’s successful independent funding structure with one beholden to the political whims of Congress. And McHenry set the industry-shilling tone early in the first days of his Chairmanship by going on a hiring spree of industry lobbyists and insiders, and with his decision to scrap the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee and any references to “consumer protection,” “investor protection,” or “community development” in subcommittee titles.
It’s important to keep a steady spotlight on the MAGA House majority’s corporations-first agenda, because they’re already testing the waters to see how far they can go to appease their financial industry mega donors on the backs of consumers. Reps. Patrick McHenry and Blaine Luetkemeyer are point men for the MAGA majority’s plan to let big banks, Wall Street lobbyists, and predatory lenders write their own rules and evade accountability when they mistreat consumers. At the top of their wish list is defunding, defanging, and doing away with the consumer protection agency that has recouped billions of ill-gotten dollars on behalf of wronged Americans.
Chairman McHenry’s full-throated defense of junk fees that sap billions from the pockets of everyday Americans says it all about the MAGA House’s priorities – and consumers are not among them. Only politicians deep in the pocket of the financial industry could consider indefensible practices like excessive overdraft penalties and predatory hidden fees as a legitimate part of doing business – while they view with contempt the CFPB’s incredible success in saving consumers money and holding financial scammers accountable.”