Consumers First Act Passes in House in Largely Symbolic Gesture

In a largely symbolic gesture, the House of Representatives yesterday passed the Consumers First Act, which would overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and undo many of the changes put in place during the year-long tenure of former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

The bill passed in the House by a vote of 231 to 191, along party lines. No Republican voted for the measure. Should the bill some how manage to get passed in the Republican-controlled Senate, the White House indicted earlier this week that the president would veto it.

Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, sponsored the proposed legislation, which seeks to limit the number of political appointments at the CFPB, restore supervision and enforcement authority to the Bureau’s Fair Lending Office, and ensure the Bureau’s complaint database remains open to the public.

“I think what we have today is a bit of buyer’s remorse by my Democratic colleagues who created the CFPB in order to be this unaccountable bureau but headed by a Democrat or a Democrat presidential appointee,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry [R-N.C.], ranking Republican on the Financial Services panel, according to a published report.

Rep. Waters had little love for Mulvaney and many of the decisions he made while he ran the Bureau, which largely sought to reduce the power wielded by the CFPB and take a less aggressive approach to enforcement than his predecessor, Richard Cordray.

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