Senators To President Trump: Do Not Remove CFPB Director Cordray
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today called on President Donald J. Trump to uphold the promises he made to the American people and resist calls from Wall Street and their allies to remove Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray.
“During Director Cordray’s tenure, the agency has successfully and responsibly used its authority to protect working class consumers from illegal, deceptive, and predatory practices in the financial marketplace. As a result, the Bureau has enjoyed popularity and support among consumers across party lines” stated the senators in a letter to President Trump. “Yielding to calls for his removal are not only ill-advised, they are illegal, and will lead to restoring power back to the very interests from which you vowed to protect the American people. We strongly urge you not to remove Director Cordray and to allow him to continue his work protecting hard working American consumers.”
In 2008, Durbin introduced legislation to create an agency whose sole purpose was to protect consumers from the tricks, traps, shadowy markets and fine print of Wall Street. That bill was added to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and resulted in the creation of today’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Full text of the senators’ letter to President Trump:
February 16, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Dear President Trump:
We write to encourage you to uphold the promises you made to the American people by resisting calls from Wall Street and their allies to remove Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) Director Richard Cordray. During Director Cordray’s tenure, the agency has successfully and responsibly used its authority to protect working class consumers from illegal, deceptive, and predatory practices in the financial marketplace. As a result, the Bureau has enjoyed popularity and support among consumers across party lines. Yielding to calls for his removal are not only ill-advised, but illegal, and will lead to restoring power back to the very interests from which you vowed to protect the American people.
Since its founding in 2011, special interests and their congressional allies have made it a priority to weaken and dismantle the CFPB. In the name of ensuring transparency and accountability, they have been relentless in their efforts to “reform” the agency by promoting industry-friendly solutions, including converting the Bureau to a five-member commission from a single director and subjecting the agency to the annual appropriations process. On the contrary, these efforts are nothing more than attempts to tilt the scales in favor of Wall Street and other powerful special interests and against hard working consumers.
The CFPB, under the direction of Richard Cordray, has worked tirelessly to make our financial marketplace safer, fairer and more transparent for consumers and has served as a necessary check on banks, servicers and debt collectors. To date, the CFPB has delivered nearly $12 billion in financial relief to more than 29 million American consumers, including service members, students, and seniors who have been cheated and harmed by undisclosed fees, overcharges, unfair interest charges and other illegal, predatory and deceptive practices committed by the financial industry.
The Bureau has also handled over one million consumer complaints about illegal or predatory products in the marketplace. In your inaugural speech, you said that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” Director Cordray has worked to ensure consumers are not forgotten by leveling the financial playing field and giving all consumers a voice to stand up to special interests that have profited on the backs of the working class and the vulnerable.
Notwithstanding the attempts from special interests to cast CFPB’s actions as harmful and a threat to individual liberty, voters, including those that supported your candidacy, overwhelmingly support the CFPB and the work they are doing. As recent polls have shown, the vast majority of Americans across party lines—81 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans—have a favorable view of the CFPB. Fifty-six percent of voters who supported you also oppose weakening or eliminating the agency, and 69 percent of voters who supported you oppose reducing regulations on Wall Street. It is abundantly clear that any efforts to weaken or undermine the CFPB, including firing Director Corday, would not align with the wishes of the American people, many of whom voted for you based on the promises you made to restore power back to the forgotten men and women.
The recent financial crisis, during which Americans lost over $19 trillion in household wealth, clearly demonstrated the need for a federal agency whose sole mission is to protect consumers in the financial marketplace. As you noted in your inaugural address, “for too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” However, if you bow to the pressures of the special interests and unjustly remove Director Cordray, you will restore power back to the special interest at the expense of the working class, and in your words “let Wall Street get away with murder.”
Under the leadership of Director Cordray, the CFPB has been a strong and vital advocate on behalf of American consumers. Firing the Director, turning the CFPB into a commission, or eliminating its independent funding are veiled attempts by Wall Street to gut consumer protections. We strongly urge you not to remove Director Cordray and to allow him to continue his work protecting hard working American consumers.
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