Press Releases

McHenry to CFPB Director Chopra: Next Congress, You’ll Wish You Tried Harder to Play by the Rules

Washington, December 14, 2022 -

Today, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra. In light of Director Chopra’s regulatory overreach and disregard for the rulemaking process, the incoming House Republican majority will pursue aggressive oversight to rein in the unaccountable CFPB.

In advance of today’s hearing, all Committee Republicans—led by Chairman-elect Patrick McHenry (NC-10)—sent a letter to Director Chopra urging him to rescind his recent anti-consumer actions regarding nonbank financial firms.

Watch Chairman-elect McHenry’s opening remarks here.

 Read Chairman-elect McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Madam Chair.

“Well, Director Chopra, you almost made it.

“With just weeks remaining in this Congress, Democrats are squeezing in your second statutorily required appearance this year.

“You can look forward to much more thorough oversight next year when Republicans are in charge of this committee.

“We have a lot to cover today, but I’ll start by stating the obvious: the lack of transparency with your agency is appalling.

“Over the past year, Committee Republicans sent you more than 10 letters, many with specific questions we want answered, to which you replied with single-page responses.

“This prevents Congress from conducting proper oversight.

“It’s not good for financial institutions, and other market participants, nor the consumers they’re trying to serve.

“Under your leadership, the CFPB also brazenly circumvents the public comment process.

“In fact, you’ve put forth just one ‘real’ rule through notice and comment.

“That action was directed by Congress under my bill, the Debt Bondage Repair Act.

“Meanwhile, you have issued 6 compliance bulletins, 5 advisory opinions, 5 interpretive rules, and just this year, 7 circulars.

“While not legally binding, such “clarifications” and “guidance” without time to process the changes foster an environment of uncertainty for the industry.

 “Financial institutions and other market participants change their behavior, increasing compliance costs and ultimately limiting consumers’ access to affordable products and services.

“You’re implementing progressive policies at the expense of both consumers seeking financial products and market participants trying to comply with the law.

“And you’re doing so without fully and transparently considering the consequences of your actions.

“You also moved the Office of Innovation to the backburner, which has had almost no activity during your tenure.

“You did, however, rescind a No Action Letter, as well as a Sandbox Approval Order.

“And, you gave virtually no notice to those market participants and threw their operations into jeopardy, without signaling any willingness to work with them to address the Bureau’s concerns.

 “Again, no certainty, no transparency.

 “This is all against the backdrop of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the CFPB’s funding mechanism is unconstitutional and vacating the CFPB’s Payday Lending Rule as a result.

“Last month, the U.S. Solicitor General responded by filing a cert petition on behalf of the CFPB, asking the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision.

“But the real problem here, and what we’ve been saying from the moment of your agency’s inception, is this:

“Why would the next director, with a different political persuasion, not abuse his or her powers with the precedent you’ve set?

“The political pendulum doesn’t stop swinging. Next month there will be a new majority in the House of Representatives.

“I think you’ll wish you tried harder to play by the rules.

“I yield back.”


Print version of this document