Senator Takes Another Crack at Altering CFPB Leadership Structure

A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would change the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to a five-member commission from a single director, which comes as everyone awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court on whether the current structure of the Bureau is constitutional or not.

The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer [R-Neb.]. A companion bill was introduced in March in the House of Representatives by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-Mo.]. The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee for consideration.

“I have long advocated for reforming the CFPB to increase its transparency and accountability,” said Sen. Fischer in a statement. “With the Supreme Court set to issue an opinion this month on the constitutionality of the CFPB’s single director, my bill offers a common-sense solution for reforming the bureau. A bipartisan, multi-member commission would help ensure good governance, prevent rash decision making, and result in more economic certainty for Americans starting businesses and providing for their families.”

Sen. Fischer’s bill would create a five-member commission, with members serving staggered five-year terms and no more than three members from the same political party. One of the commissioners would be appointed chairman, who would be whomever is the Director of the CFPB the day before the law goes into effect. That individual would serve until all five members had been appointed and one of them designated as the new chair. The leadership structure would mirror that of other agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

This is the second time that Sen. Fischer has attempted this legislation.

The leadership structure of the CFPB has been a hot-button issue for years, with critics (largely Republicans) arguing that a single director of such a large agency wielding too much power while those in favor (largely Democrats) arguing that the Bureau was set up this way on purpose, to be insulated from influence.

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