Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Committee Democrats announced the reintroduction of H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act, a bill to block the Trump Administration’s anti-consumer agenda and reverse their past efforts to undermine the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Consumer Bureau).
“I consider the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” said Chairwoman Waters. “Under the leadership of former Director Richard Cordray, the agency operated as Congress intended, and helped people around the country with their mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and other financial products and services. Under his leadership, the Consumer Bureau cracked down on financial institutions that had harmed consumers and returned nearly $12 billion to over 30 million consumers. Now, Trump’s appointees are trying to put a stop to that critical work. Democrats on this Committee will fight every day to make sure that the Consumer Bureau is able to work toward its mission of protecting consumers. That’s what the Consumers First Act is all about.”
This legislation is supported by 51 consumer, civil rights, housing and labor organizations and cosponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL), Rep. Michael San Nicolas (D-GU), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX).
Chairwoman Waters’ bill would direct the new Consumer Bureau leadership to reverse actions taken under Mr. Mulvaney’s leadership, including by:
- Resuming the previously authorized supervision of financial firms for Military Lending Act compliance;
- Restoring the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity;
- Reestablishing a dedicated student loan office; requiring adequate agency staffing, including for supervision and enforcement;
- Limiting the number of political appointees the Consumer Bureau may hire to address allegations that they suppressed the work of dedicated, professional staff;
- Mandating the consumer complaint database to remain transparent and publicly accessible;
- Reinstating the Consumer Advisory Board that was effectively terminated by Mr. Mulvaney with protections to ensure consumer voices are well represented, and that diversity and inclusion are promoted on the agency’s advisory boards; and,
- Encouraging greater cooperation with other government agencies, like the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense.
To view the legislation text, click here.
To view the one-pager on this legislation, click here.
In February, Chairwoman Waters sent a letter to the dedicated public servants of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to address the challenges they have faced since Mulvaney’s tenure began in 2017 and assure them that she will use the full range of the Committee’s oversight authorities to prevent any efforts to weaken the Consumer Bureau.