After a House Republican measure to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) anti-discrimination work on behalf of small business owners advanced on a party-line vote late Thursday night, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) President and CEO Jesse Van Tol released the following statement:
“This is an act of political theater from a group of people who oppose the CFPB’s very existence, not an earnest or thoughtful disagreement over policy. Anti-consumer lawmakers have been attacking the CFPB since before it was even born. There is a small but stubborn political constituency for the backward idea that protecting consumers from fraud and discrimination is somehow a bad thing. I’m sadly accustomed to watching those folks swing and miss at the agency over and over and over again. This is a moment for supporters of small business owners – and anyone who thinks the economy should be fair to everyone regardless of race, gender or sexuality – to stand united.
“Transparency in small business lending is crucial. We cannot build a just economy free from discrimination if we cannot even see where discrimination is taking place – especially in the key wealth-building arena of entrepreneurship. The CFPB worked hard for a long time to deliver a final rule that is attentive to reasonable industry concerns but vigorous enough to fulfill the mission Congress set for the agency back in 2010. The politicians trying to void that work six elections later do not have the American people’s best interests at heart.”
Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee voted through a resolution of disapproval seeking to void CFPB’s recently finalized rules for tracking data on who is and is not approved for small business loans. Those rules – known as Section 1071, after the section of the Wall Street reform law that ordered CFPB to create the new system back in 2010 – will make it far easier to identify and root out any potential discrimination in small business lending. A resolution of disapproval is a mechanism of the Congressional Review Act that can be used to invalidate regulations. Both chambers must pass such a resolution and the president must sign it – or have his veto overridden by Congress – before a final rule such as Section 1071 can be revoked. Republican leaders have made frequent use of this mechanism since retaking the House majority in the 2022 elections, without ever rallying the two-thirds majorities in both chambers that would be required to override a presidential veto.
For more information on the matter, read this.