New Senate Banking Chair Lays Out Agenda, Plans to Restore CFPB to ‘Full Strength’

The change in control of the Senate means that there will be a new Sherrod in town in charge of the committee that most directly deals with debt collections, and Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], the new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, met with reporters yesterday to outline his agenda for the coming Congressional session. During the virtual press conference, Sen. Brown laid out an ambitious vision for how he wants to regulate and oversee the financial services industry, including accounts receivable management companies.

The statement that Sen. Brown made during the press conference that will likely cause the most anxiety for companies in the ARM industry was what he said about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which he vowed to restore to its “full strength” while also stating that he expects Director Kathleen Kraninger to resign by January 20 when President-elect Biden is inaugurated, or be fired by the Biden administration.

Along with a new chairman, the Senate Banking Committee will also have a new ranking member. Sen. Pat Toomey [R-Pa.] replaces Sen. Mike Crapo [R-Idaho] as the committee’s top Republican.

Sen. Brown did say his top priority as chairman will be to protect individuals from evictions and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes extending a moratorium on evictions and providing money to individuals to allow them to pay their landlords and stay in their homes.

“That’s the whole federal government’s first priority — dealing with COVID so that this public health crisis doesn’t become more of an economic crisis [or] financial crisis that could do major damage to the banking system and to our financial system overall,” said Sen. Brown.

Sen. Brown also said he expects to have a lot of issues and plans in common with Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the chair of the House Financial Services Committee. He said he would be “shocked if we’re not going the same direction on damn near everything.”

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