Let’s Talk About The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


One of the most unusual stories that is making headlines this week—and be assured that I choose my words carefully as almost everything these days constitutes unusual—surrounds the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

After its director shut his office door for the last time it was assumed that his deputy would be the next in line for the job.   But then a turf battle started with President Trump and some Republicans taking to the ramparts to place their choice into the top job. The reason for the unseemly political maneuver is that there is a deep desire to strip, neuter, and degrade the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

And that last sentence holds the key, in my estimation, as to how this matter of who should lead the bureau must be viewed.

I come to this blogging world with a fair amount of experience in legislative matters.   I worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly for a decade as a Research Assistant and Committee Clerk for a state representative. I also handled all of the media relations for the office having come from a broadcasting background.

Laws are written with intended outcomes.  As such, the manner in which legislative language is employed in laws must be the way that the road is traveled.  When one starts to deviate from legislative intent there is no good way to make it not look awful.

I say that to underscore that when the Dodd-Frank bill was drafted and then passed by congress the words, which allowed for the autonomy that the deputy director correctly felt was hers, cannot be now tossed aside for partisan reasons. The matter is not for the president—any president of whichever party—to use for partisan gain.

I am not a lawyer—though I love John Grisham books—but it would appear from my knowledge and understanding that the balls in the air right now should be addressed by congress.

And if we had a functioning and reason-based congress that is the ideal place to have this handled.   The last thing that should be done is for yet another executive power grab that limits the powers of congress.  That partisanship runs so strong among the GOP that it will not stop this from happening shows not how smart Trump is, but instead how weak and ineffective the majority party in congress happens to be in 2017.

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