Let Freedom Ring Must Reads

CFPB leadership fight exposes Democrats’ hypocrisy
By Colin A. Hanna

Washington, D.C. is a town of tall-tales, and there is no tale taller than the Democratic Party’s insistence that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has lost its “independence” now that Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is in charge, returning a once lawless agency back to the core mission of protecting consumers.

In a letter to President Donald Trump at the end of last year, forty-four Democrat Senators, including Senators Schumer, Dick Durbin, Kamala Harris, and of course Elizabeth Warren said the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as the acting-director “…jeopardizes the agency’s independence and effectiveness.” The Los Angeles Times editorial board even called President Trump’s efforts to rein in an unaccountable CFPB a “sick, sad joke”.

 Senator Warren, the architect of the CFPB, has also directed her ire at President Trump on Twitter, falling just short of demanding the President acknowledge the pretender to the helm of CFPB, Leandra English. She accused the President of “…causing chaos and market uncertainty.”

Thankfully, the attempt by the former CFPB head Richard Cordray to choose his own successor, as if he were some Roman emperor, is faltering, at least in the court of law. A lawsuit by a small credit union to install Leandra English as the acting director of the CFPB was just thrown out, while the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia has twice shot down legal maneuvers by English’s legal team. English’s lawsuit deserves extra scrutiny, as her own lawyer admits that she cannot afford the suit and cannot say who is funding the effort.

The irony here is the so-called “independence” the Democrats want the CFPB to return to never existed. It is a myth peddled by liberals in an effort to discredit Mulvaney and regain control of the pet partisan agency that Cordray, who quit to run for governor of Ohio, used to financially reward left-wing groups and causes.

The Washington Free Beacon recently released a series of emails from Cordray detailing his plot to appoint his own successor and subvert the White House’s prerogative to do so. A network of Cordray loyalists and liberal journalists plotted to circumvent the need for presidential appointment of a new acting director, and instead astroturf the media with the notion that Leandra English could take over as acting-director.

The New York Post, among other outlets, has exposed how Leandra English’s attorney, Deepak Gupta, has used tweets from President Trump — like his tweet threatening higher fines for Wells Fargo — as suggestive that he wants to tear down the “independence” of the CFPB. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who has ruled on the leadership case, rightfully brushed this argument aside. But what the Democrats ignore is that former President Obama tweeted on a number of occasions advocating for CFPB actions which, by the standards Democrats are applying to the Trump Administration in this instance, would also have been construed as jeopardizing the agency’s “independence.”

The fig-leaf of independence given to the CFPB by the Democrats – exempting it from the Congressional budgeting process – has allowed for rampant misallocation of funds and the funneling of monies to left-leaning non-profits that further the liberal agenda. It’s a very good argument for why government agencies are generally not set up this way.

To that end, earlier this month I joined a group of conservative leaders and groups in asking Acting Director Mulvaney to audit the CFPB’s finances so the American people can get an idea of just how much money the agency has wasted and squirreled away for partisan actors while Cordray was in charge. I am glad to see that Mulvaney requested zero funding for the agency in the 2018 second-quarter. Likewise, President Trump has rightfully subjected the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process in his 2018 budget proposal, effectively bringing it out from the shadows of the Federal Reserve.

Democrats need to stop playing their game of charades when it comes to their false claims that the CFPB was once an upstanding agency that protected consumers. And for the ultimate proof of this they need to go no further than what former CFPB enforcement attorney, Robert Rubin, said in The Weekly Standard: “In 2010, the Democratic House of Representatives, filibuster-proof Senate, and president did not intend to create a regulatory agency independent from politics, just an agency independent from Republicans.”

It’s time for Republican leaders serious about shrinking the size of government to put a padlock on the doors of the CFPB once and for all.

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02/09/2018 | Colin Hanna
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