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Waters, Brown Lead 144 Current & Former Members on Amicus Brief Supporting CFPB
Washington, DC, May 15, 2023
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, led 144 current and former Members of Congress, including Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 100 other current and former Members of the House of Representatives, as well as Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and 38 other current and former Senators — in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the case of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America which seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the CFPB’s funding structure and undercut the agency’s important regulatory authority to protect consumers.
“As the United States explains, accepting the Fifth Circuit’s decision would place at risk a funding model that has been used since the early Republic, which now applies to the OCC and a host of other crucial federal programs,” the lawmakers wrote.
The amicus brief argues that since the beginning of the Republic, Congress has used its appropriations powers in different ways. Up until the wrongly decided Fifth Circuit decision, the courts have recognized that Congress can appropriate in a variety of ways. Furthermore, the CFPB must maintain its independent funding so that it can continue the critical work of protecting consumers and preventing debilitating national economic crises like the financial crisis of 2008.
“Armed with its assessment of what went wrong in the financial crisis, Congress determined that to be effective, the CFPB needed independence from unpredictable annual funding cycles,” the lawmakers added.
When Congress established the CFPB after the 2008 financial crisis, a judgment was made that the CFPB, like other financial regulators, needed independence from unpredictable annual funding cycles to be effective. As outlined by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB is funded through the Federal Reserve System. Congress still maintains oversight authority of the CFPB, and the agency testifies regularly before Congress and provides information on its various programs.