Republicans Target Consumer Financial Protection; This Could Hurt Your Pocketbook

Posted by | February 20, 2011 22:49 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Buried in the debate over a government shutdown are hundreds of smaller (but not small) issues.  Some of those will float to the top of the media cauldron but many will be resolved behind closed doors in Washington.  One that is likely to get minimal attention is an attempt by Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer (pictured) to move the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from the Fed to the Treasury.  Seems like obscure insider politics?  Not quite, as TPM explains:

In a brief interview Tuesday, Neugebauer was pretty candid about this.

“Moving it on budget over to the Treasury where it’s subject to appropriations, we can have some say-so on how big this organization gets and some of their activities,” Neugebauer said. The goal, he said, is to enhance oversight, and limit the agency’s size. “When it resides in the Fed, then, we really don’t have that opportunity.”

Essentially this would be the first step of killing the new regulatory agency in its crib.  Republicans don’t like the idea that consumers should be protected from deceitful practices by financial institutions and this is a way to let their biggest donors get a bigger crack at the new cop on the block.

Most of what the House tries to defund or disembowel will be restored in negotiations with the Senate and the president.  But President Obama and Senator Reid will have to give up on some issues.  Here’s hoping this isn’t one of them.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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