“The TABS Act is a free pass to Wall Street and a threat to household finances for the rest of us."
The TABS Act reverses the clearly-stated intentions expressed by Congress in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by eliminating the CFPB’s independence from Congressional budgets. Understanding that corporate lobbyists would attempt to limit the CFPB, Congress called for CFPB funding to come from the Federal Reserve, which is itself funded independently from Congressional appropriations.
“The logic of the TABS Act is as wrong as it gets,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). “It’s an attack against an agency that has accomplished the consumer protection goals that it was explicitly created to achieve. Supporters of the TABS Act would end the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) independence from Congressional appropriations, a structure that no other financial regulator must submit to, because they want to starve the CFPB of resources.
“The TABS Act is a free pass to Wall Street and a threat to household finances for the rest of us.”
The CFPB has detractors because it has been a success. Since being established, the CFPB’s enforcement actions have led to $16 billion in relief to consumers and ordered approximately $3.7 billion in civil penalties on financial institutions. The CPFB puts the interests of consumers before those of lobbyists for banks, credit bureaus, debt collectors and other financial institutions.
“To continue on its impressive record, the CFPB’s funding must remain independent of Congressional politics,“ Van Tol said.
While some in Congress have it out for the CFPB, nearly four in five Americans, made of majorities from both sides of the political aisle, say they support the agency’s mission. More than 7 in 10 support proposals to rein in debt collectors, protect student borrowers, limit credit card and overdraft fees and stop evasions of consumer protections.
In October, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the CFPB’s funding structure is unconstitutional, even though the appropriations clause of the Constitution is clear that the requirement to submit to appropriations only covers funds drawn from the US Treasury. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the CFPB’s petition to reverse the decision.