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New Motion Filed in Federal Appeals Court To Defend the CFPB Under President Trump

January 26, 2017

Washington, DC – Today, Constitutional Accountability Center filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on behalf of Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, who seek to intervene in defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure that it can continue to operate free from political influence, as Congress intended. 

“America’s consumers need the CFPB to be a watchdog looking out for their interests, standing up against unscrupulous and deep-pocketed corporations that otherwise would take advantage of them,” said CAC President Elizabeth Wydra. “The independence of the CFPB’s Director is critical to this mission, and keeping the Director insulated from political pressure was a top priority for the Congress that created the CFPB. With high-ranking Republicans now advising President Trump to fire the Director and weaken the CFPB, leading drafters of the law seek to ensure that their interest in a zealous defense of the law is not undermined by the change in Administration. As these members know, the CFPB’s structure is constitutional, and its Director should not be removed before his full five-year term is complete.”

As the motion to intervene explains

By nullifying the removal protections for the [CFPB] Director provided for in Dodd-Frank, and thus transforming the CFPB into an executive agency subject to the policy direction of the President, the [three-judge] panel decision fundamentally altered the Bureau and hampered its ability to play the role that Congress intended…. In addition to undermining Congress’s plan for the CFPB, the panel decision also prevents Congress from establishing independent agencies headed by single directors in the future….

…Until now, [Senator Brown’s and Representative Waters’] interests in this case have been adequately represented by the CFPB, which has zealously defended the constitutionality of the Bureau’s structure.  Recently, however, it has become increasingly clear that [their] interests may no longer be adequately represented by the new Administration. Two of [their] congressional colleagues have pressed the Administration to replace the CFPB’s current director as “the first marker in the long process of rolling-back” the agency, one of a number of actions under consideration by the new Administration that may prevent the Bureau from seeking reversal of the panel’s decision. Thus, [Brown and Waters] seek to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the important law they helped enact.

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Resources:

CAC’s motion to intervene in defense of the CFPB, on behalf of Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Maxine Waters, in PHH Corporation, et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureauhttp://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/CAC-PHH-Intervention-Motion.pdf

CAC’s “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in support of the CFPB’s petition for rehearing en banc in PHH v. CFPB, on behalf of key current and former members of Congress, November 30, 2016: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/PHH-En-Banc-Amicus-CAC.pdf

Constitutional and Accountable: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CAC white paper), October 2016: http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/issue-brief/constitutional-accountable-consumer-financial-protection-bureau

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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