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ICYMI – Ranking Member Waters’ Op-ed on the 15th Anniversary of the Financial Crisis and the Importance of the CFPB

In a new opinion piece published today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, reflects on the 15th anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis and the lasting impact it had on families everywhere. Specifically, Congresswoman Waters emphasizes the particular importance of the anniversary of this crisis as the Supreme Court gears up to hear oral arguments next month in an extreme MAGA Republican case to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency created in the aftermath of the crisis and the sole agency dedicated to protecting consumers. Waters urges the Supreme Court to stand with the rule of law and our nation’s consumers by protecting the CFPB.

Read an excerpt of the piece below:

Despite the agency’s success at protecting consumers, this year’s anniversary of the crisis is particularly significant as Republicans ramp up their attacks on the agency. Next month, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in CFPB v. Community Financial Services Association of America. Extreme MAGA Republicans and predatory payday lenders have teamed up to challenge the constitutionality of the CFPB’s funding based on a fringe legal theory. Let’s be clear, every single court – other than the radical Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – has affirmed the validity of CFPB’s funding. But just like MAGA Republicans who continue to deny election results, they continue to deny these facts as well. The Constitution is clear—Congress can fund the executive branch, including the CFPB, banking regulators, and other agencies, however it likes, and has done so for nearly 250 years. This attack on the CFPB is another destructive effort by Republicans to undermine all types of essential government programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Still, the CFPB’s record speaks for itself. Under Director Rohit Chopra, the CFPB is successfully combatting junk fees, relieving the burden of medical debt on consumers’ credit reports, fighting back against housing discrimination and redlining, and holding big banks accountable for repeatedly breaking the law and harming consumers. That’s why 80% of people, including 75% of Republicans, support the CFPB and want the agency to continue its job. Republicans should listen to their constituents, who know from experience what a junk fee is and can explain why they need to support the agency’s work.

I still hear from constituents who bear the scars of the financial crisis. For this reason, we need to defend the only agency dedicated to protecting consumers. Earlier this year, I worked with Senator Sherrod Brown to lead 144 current and former Congressional members in sending a brief to the Supreme Court, describing why Congress created the CFPB and how the Fifth Circuit’s opinion was just plain wrong.

Come October, the Supreme Court must choose whether they will side with our nation’s consumers and the rule of law or with predatory lenders and their allies—no one in this country should have to be the prey again of Wall Street’s greed.


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