Bench Memos

House to Question CFPB Function Under Cordray

The House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow at 1:30 entitled “How Will the CFPB Function Under Richard Cordray?” This issue will most certainly be relevant this election cycle as President Obama appears to have every intention of using the CFPB as a political bludgeon for his “fairness” narrative, which is expected to be on full display during tomorrow’s State of the Union address. My colleague Ammon Simon has written about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before, and will be live-tweeting the event on Twitter, @judicialnetwork.  

This would be a good time for the committee to ask Mr. Cordray about the CFPB’s grave separation of powers problems, as C. Boyden Gray and John Shu detailed in this Federalist Society paper. Ambassador Gray, a former White House Counsel, explained in a statement issued after President Obama’s unilateral, non-recess appointment of Mr. Cordray:

The CFPB is insulated from each of the three branches of government that have a constitutional duty to oversee it. It is independently funded and consequently subject to no budget review, and no meaningful Congressional oversight. And because Dodd-Frank protects the CFPB Director against removal by the president, the next president would not be able to remove a Senate-confirmed CFPB Director at will. Finally, there is extremely limited judicial review of the CFPB’s actions.

Tune in tomorrow for more details.  


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