A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on a number of different fronts, including turning the leadership of the regulator into a five-person commission. The bill, introduced by Rep. Andy Barr [R-Kent.], appears to consolidate five different pieces of legislation into one omnibus piece of proposed legislation.
A copy of H.R. 2798, the CFPB Transparency and Accountability Reform Act, can be accessed by clicking here. The bill, which has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee, is due to be marked up by the committee during a hearing today.
The bill addresses a number of common changes that have been proposed in Congress to amend the CFPB in recent years. In addition to changing the leadership structure to a five-person commission from a one-person director, the bill also seeks to change how the CFPB’s budget is appropriated, create an Inspector General to oversee the CFPB, create an Office of Economic Analysis that will review all proposed guidance and rules, and require the CFPB to conduct a cost-benefit analysis as part of every rulemaking it undergoes.
Rep. Barr, who is the chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy, has already introduced the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’s Spending (TABS) Act, which would subject the CFPB to the Congressional Appropriations Process. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-Mo.] originally introduced the CFPB-IG Reform Act of 2023, which would create the Inspector General position to keep an eye on what the CFPB does. Rep. Tom Emmer [R-Minn.] introduced the CFPB Dual Mandate and Economic Analysis Act. Rep. Alex Mooney [R-W.V.] introduced the CFPB Cost-Benefit Analysis Act. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald [R-Wisc.] introduced the Making the CFPB Accountable to Small Businesses Act of 2023, and the Whistleblower Incentives and Protection Act was introduced by Rep. Al Green [D-Texas].
When he introduced the TABS Act last month, Rep. Barr said, “The CFPB is the most unaccountable and authoritarian agency in the entire federal bureaucracy. I’m leading this legislation to give the CFPB the wholesale makeover it needs to finally be accountable to Congress.”