CFPB Opens Rulemaking Petition Doors to General Public

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced yesterday that it wants to make it easier for John Q. Public to get new rules enacted or current rules changed, while requiring lobbyists and others “who are paid to influence the agency’s rulemaking agenda behind the scenes” to have their petitions vetted by the public. The announcement is part of the CFPB’s effort to allow the public to “meaningfully engage” and be able to suggest regulatory changes.

Anyone can now email the CFPB at petitions@cfpb.gov with a request for rulemaking. Requests should include the contact information for the individual(s) making the submission, what the petitioner would like the CFPB to do, the factual and legal reasons why the CFPB should do it, and the expected outcome of the action, should the CFPB move forward. The CFPB will publish petitions it receives here.

”Americans should be able to easily exercise their Constitutional rights without hiring a high-priced lawyer or lobbyist,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, in a statement. “Our new program will broaden access to the agency’s rulemaking process.”

Most other financial regulators within the federal government are currently not allowing rulemaking petitions to be filed by the general public.

By allowing the public to make rulemaking suggestions, the CFPB is hoping to “identify consumer protection issues worthy of reform, rulemaking, or in need of further clarification.” The announcement also aims to curb the influence that former government employees and lobbyists have over the rulemaking process. By improving the transparency surrounding how rules are made, the thinking is that the rules that are made will be more fair and in everyone’s best interests, instead of those who can afford it.

The CFPB said its decision is in line with recommendations that were made back in 2014 by the Administrative Conference of the United States.


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