Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today voted for legislation requiring the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to cease activity until legal uncertainty over the President’s appointment of board members is resolved.
In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated three appointments President Obama made to the NLRB a year earlier, unanimously ruling that the president had exceeded his constitutional authority in bypassing Senate confirmation.
On the same day the president made the now-invalidated NLRB appointments, he appointed Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – again, bypassing the constitutionally-required Senate confirmation.
“In the same way the NLRB appointments create uncertainty, the president’s non-recess recess appointment of the CFPB director calls into question the legality of all actions undertaken by the CFPB since this appointment was made,” said Chairman Hensarling.
“The Dodd-Frank Act places sweeping, unprecedented and unchecked power entirely in the hands of a single unelected bureaucrat. Under Dodd-Frank’s radical approach, the CFPB director can strip from Americans their consumer freedom and restrict their credit opportunities. This credit czar has the power to decide whether a family can obtain a mortgage, get a car loan or even get a credit card to buy groceries. The CFPB director also has sole authority to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the agency’s budget – no questions asked.
“Congress and the president should take this opportunity to enact common sense fixes so the CFPB is accountable and transparent to hardworking taxpayers.That means, at a minimum, the CFPB should be governed by a bipartisan commission, which is how other federal agencies charged with consumer or investor protection operate. And to ensure there is proper oversight of its spending, the CFPB’s budget secrecy must end,” Chairman Hensarling said.