Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Uses Its Popularity to Battle with Republicans

Nowadays Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) deals with grave difficulties due to the election of Donald Trump. Used to President Obama’s policy consumer protection agency determined not to lose its influence. But Republicans are determined too. The situation is much complicated due to new payday loan rule initiated by the agency in July 2016.

Head of CFPB Richard Cordray, thanks to his broad political and business experience, began to prepare for battle long in advance. Right after the election he solicited e-mails from ordinary Americans containing thanks for resolving their financial problems.

The main idea of undertaking was that stories of ordinary thankful citizens might be helpful in defence from lobbyists and Republicans critics, who blame the agency with scourging the US economy.

Mr. Cordray mentioned in his open letter to his staff that hundreds of true stories could be received and there wouldn’t be a better vindication to the agency, which main goal is to relieve consumers’ troubles.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the single agency among others who hasn’t begun to lose their influence on regulated companies but on the contrary has drafted a new rule for payday loan industry regulation. Its high authority is granted by Congress and autonomy from the White House. They are authorized to write new federal laws and amend existing ones.

After Mr. Trump election agency enforced a set of measures against payday lenders and other financial organizations by pushing forward a new big law on arbitration relations between borrowers and debt collectors.

The White House’s composure for last year was based on polling that uses data from politically prosperous states. Contemplating vigorous activity of the agency, Republicans decided it was too popular to battle with openly.

Even Republicans in Congress who tried to oppose agency from the very beginning failed to vote new rules in either the Senate or the House.

Dean Clancy, policy analyst who once worked in the White House under President Bush and now is the Tea Party activist, says that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is like a big brother, protected little boy in people’s eyes, so it is very uncomforting to oppose it.

The story about gratitude letters collected by agency’s staff illustrates it very well. Among grateful clients were lots of former payday loan borrowers, a mortgage borrower form Tennessee evicted from home, a person from Kentucky who was helped to avoid an oppressive debt collector, and someone from Pennsylvania whom agency helped to win a contest for credit card debt.

Republicans don’t give up derailing agencies’ work but now it’s mostly a long-run strategic game. In July 2018 Mr. Cordray’s term as director expires and he will likely be succeeded by a more loyal candidate. This moment though may be approximated. There are talks that Cordray can resign in November 2017 to enter the Democratic Party in Ohio.