Congress is considering a bill called the “Financial CHOICE Act,” (H.R. 10), a dreadful proposal that promises to threaten Americans’ economic security, reminiscent of the destruction caused by the 2008 financial crisis. The bill is sponsored by U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas. He claims that the bill would be good for the country. READ a little about him and we won’t blame you if you end up questioning his motives for championing this massive gift to Wall Street.
Whatever his intention, Hensarling is dangerously wrong. The bill is the wrong choice for American consumers and investors. Among other things, it would dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the one agency created to put financial consumers first. Among the bill’s ‘lowlights’ (and there are many), the proposal would:
1) Eliminate the CFPB’s authority to issue a rule on the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial services contracts.
2) Eliminate the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule to prohibit brokers and financial advisors from using forced arbitration clauses in contracts with investor-customers.
3) Undermine CFPB’s complaint database by preventing public access to consumer complaints against financial institutions.
4) Remove the CFPB’s authority to tackle unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices in the marketplace.
5) Interfere with the CFPB and other financial regulators’ funding by making them subject to the congressional appropriations process.
6) Remove the CFPB’s authority to curb the worst practices in payday lending.
7) Eliminate CFPB guidance to stop discrimination in auto lending.
8) Eliminate the CFPB’s supervisory authority to properly monitor financial institutions’ conduct and systemic practices that ultimately have a profound impact on the economy and consumers’ financial welfare.
9) Obstruct the CFPB’s ability to enforce critical consumer protection laws.
10) Obstruct the CFPB’s ability to consider and issue appropriate rules and standards for the financial marketplace.
11) Rename the CFPB to the “Consumer Law Enforcement Agency,” directly attacking the main purpose for which the agency was created: consumer protection.
Are you mad yet? Call your congressional representative - 202-224-3121. Tell them to defend the CFPB and to reject H.R. 10, the so-called Financial CHOICE Act. The bill is the WRONG choice for America.