Consumer Financial Protection Efforts: Answers Needed
Chairman Darrell Issa Hearing Preview Statement
Thursday's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, entitled "Consumer Financial Protection Efforts: Answers Needed," will give Professor Elizabeth Warren an opportunity to explain the administration's goals for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was established last year under the Dodd-Frank Act. On July 21, 2011, the CFBP will assume its broad powers to regulate all consumer financial products and services and prohibit the ones it deems "unfair" or "abusive." The American people have a right to know how the bureau will advance and enforce its regulatory assignment.
Indeed, the public deserves every assurance that the array of financial products available to them will be legitimate and fair. Meanwhile, consumers deserve opportunities to choose between lending alternatives and other financial tools that establish credit and give buyers the chance for affordable enhancements to their standards of living.
The Committee seeks to understand how the regulatory authority granted to the CFPB will protect consumers, guard against rate and fee spikes, and promote private sector job growth. Now one full year into the creation of the CFPB, numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the implementation of this key element of the Dodd-Frank Act.
As a key component of the Committee's mission to deliver an efficient, effective government that works for the American people, this hearing constitutes another attempt by the Congress to oversee the creation of the CFPB. At the core of our mandate is the prevention of waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal bureaucracy, and there is no question that improved efforts to combat deceptive practices in the financial sector are needed.
Neither is there a reason why the administration should avoid a candid, transparent account to Congress about its policy and practices in this regard. Since Professor Warren has been charged by the White House with the primary responsibility to organize the bureau, her straightforward testimony is particularly relevant to the Committee's work.