After going before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will testify before the House Financial Services Committee, in what is sure to be a raucous hearing that will focus more on scoring points and trying to get the best soundbite than on anything substantive, especially if yesterday’s hearing is any indication.
Members of the Senate Banking Committee focused their questions primarily over the CFPB’s proposal to limit the late fees that can be assessed to consumers who do not pay their credit card bills on time. The CFPB wants to lower the maximum late fee to $8, from $30. Consumers are expected to save as much as $9 billion per year, if the proposal is adopted.
Republicans attacked the move, while Democrats, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.], one of the architects of the CFPB, defended Chopra and the proposal. There’s no reason not to expect the same type of partisan bickering today, especially between House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry [R-N.C.] and Ranking Member Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.] when the hearing is gaveled into session at 10am ET. The hearing can be watched by clicking here.
In his prepared remarks, which will be given before he starts taking questions from the members of the committee, Chopra noted that there are “modest signs of increased delinquency” rates on different types of consumer credit and that the Bureau is “focusing more heavily” on its supervision of nonbank financial firms.
Also lurking in the background is the pending decision from the Supreme Court that will determine whether the funding structure of the CFPB is constitutional and the consequences of that ruling, which could be significant.