March 1, 2018
On behalf of the undersigned national, state and local organizations, we are writing to urge your strong opposition to any efforts to bring the funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) under the Appropriations process. We oppose this measure on its merits but also believe attaching this provision, or the hundreds of other poison pill riders proposed for funding bills is simply an inappropriate avenue for achieving policy change. The CFPB was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; it opened its doors as the nation’s only financial regulator completely devoted to consumer protection in July 2011. The bureau has been a lynchpin in the safeguards which have helped our economy to recover while protecting consumers from the worst practices of the financial sector.
Since its founding, the CFPB has been protecting consumers by ensuring that markets work in an open, transparent, and fair way. The Bureau’s mission is to hold financial companies accountable for being upfront about the costs of, and risks associated with, their products, and also to ensure that consumers are treated with dignity and respect, rather than set up to fail. The Bureau has successfully gone to bat for consumers, delivering results that are making markets work more fairly and putting a stop to fraud and abuse. In total, CFPB enforcements have resulted in nearly $12 billion returned to over 29 million Americans who have been harmed by illegal, deceptive, and discriminatory practices of various companies. The agency’s rules, supervision, and other activities are saving money and aiding understanding for many millions more.
Because of this remarkable track record, it would be a serious mistake for Congress to undo the CFPB’s current independent funding. Like the other bank regulatory agencies, the CFPB is currently funded in a way that insulates it from the pressures Wall Street and other financial sectors—including payday and other high-cost lenders, as well as debt collectors and credit bureaus—can too easily manipulate. Making this change, as has been proposed in past financial services riders, would leave the CFPB more vulnerable than the Federal Reserve, the OCC, and the FDIC to industry influence, once again treating consumer financial protection as a less important matter. It would give Wall Street and the worst elements of the financial services industry endless lobbying opportunities to deny the CFPB the funding to do its job if and when the regulator took action that a sector of the industry did not like.
Failure to appropriately regulate the consumer financial marketplace was a central cause of the financial crisis that devastated the U.S. and global economies, costing tens of trillions of dollars, and many millions of jobs. The CFPB is a shining success story of the effort to correct the mistakes and close the gaps that led to that failure. It has required lenders who break the law to return billions of dollars directly to individual consumers, it is establishing a more level playing field in crucial areas of the market, it is providing information to consumers and research to the public, and it is doing these things in an accountable and transparent fashion.
The public overwhelmingly supports the mission of the CFPB, and supports the kinds of action it has taken. Americans see an agency responsibly undertaking the job given to it by Congress: making consumer financial markets fairer and more transparent, putting money back in the pockets of members of the public who were fleeced by illegal conduct, and policing rules of the road that make the financial system work better for responsible businesses and responsible consumers alike.
We also strongly oppose attaching any other poison pill policy riders aimed at weakening consumer final protection or financial regulation to must pass legislation. We have seen hundreds of ideological and unpopular policy proposals raised as possible riders to continuing resolutions on the budget and other popular legislation in order to gain the votes these poison pill provisions would not garner on their own. We believe this is an irresponsible avenue for enacting policy change and these riders should be rejected based on process concerns as well as on the merits.
For all of the reasons above, we urge members of Congress to oppose any poison pill financial reform policy riders, whether to put the CFPB under the normal Appropriations process, otherwise weaken the authority, structure or independence of the CFPB, or generally weaken oversight and regulation of our financial system.
Alliance for a Just Society
Aging Life Care Association
American Family Voices
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
Americans for Financial Reform
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Economic Justice
Center for Effective Government
Center for Justice & Democracy
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Responsible Lending
Coalition on Human Needs
Consumer Federation of America
Franciscan Action Network
Government Accountability Project
Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Union, United Auto Workers, UAW
Justice in Aging
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Main Street Alliance
MoveOn Civic Action
Mobilization for Justice, Inc.
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients)
National Consumers League
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Housing Resource Center
National Housing Law Project
National People’s Action
National Rural Social Work Caucus
National Urban League
PICO National Network
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Public Good Law Center
State Innovation Exchange (SIX)
Strong Economy For All Coalition
Student Veterans of America
United Food and Commercial Workers, International Union
United States Student Association
Voices of Progress
State & Local Organizations
Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
Birmingham Faith in Action
Central Alabama Fair Housing Center
Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama
First Presbyterian Church
Tuscaloosa Citizens Against Predatory Practices
Arkansans Against Abusive Payday Lending
Arkansas Community Organization
Arkansas Interfaith Alliance
Arkansas Interfaith Worker Justice
Arizona Community Action Association
AZ Consumers Council
Campesinos Sin Fronteras
Center for Economic Integrity
Family Housing Resources
Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, Inc.
Newtown Community Development Corporation
Old Pueblo Community Services
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
California Reinvestment Coalition
CCBHC, a public benefit non profit
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
East Bay Community Law Center
Fair Housing Council of Orange County
Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc.
Fair Housing of Marin
Fair Housing Foundation
Faith in Community (Fresno)
Housing Equality Law Project (HELP)
Housing Resource Center of Monterey County
Housing Rights Center
Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board
Montebello Housing Development Corporation
NID-Housing Counseling Agency
Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto
Shalom Center for T.R.E.E. of Life
The Greenlining Institute
University of San Francisco School of Law
Colorado Progressive Coalition
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut, Inc.
Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement
Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.
NCALL RESEARCH INC
Neighborhood House, Inc.
Alliance Legal Group
Central Florida Community Development Corporation
Consumer Debt Association
Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches
Fair Housing Continuum, Inc.
Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection
Florida Consumer Action Network
Florida Silver Haired Legislature, Inc.
Grand Central Law, PLLC
Housing and Education Alliance
Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc.
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
Jacobs Keeley, PLLC
R. John Cole, II, & Associates, PA
Rebecca J Covey LLC
St. Petersburg Neighborhood Services, Inc. dba Neighborhood Home Solutions
The First Community Christian Pentecostal Church of God, Inc.
War on Poverty-Florida / RAISE Florida Network
Dalton-Whitfield Community Development Corporation
GA Sustainable Community Ventures
Georgia Rural Urban Summit
Green Forest CDC
Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity
Morningstar Urban Development Inc.
Savannah-Chatham County Fair Housing Council, Inc.
Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Idaho Community Action Network
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Chestnut Credit Counseling Services
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
Chicago Consumer Coalition
Debt Counsel for Seniors and Disabled
Family Credit Management Services
Global Network CDC
Gospel Justice Initiative
Greater Southwest Development Corporation
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
HOPE Fair Housing Center
Housing Action Illinois
Illinois Asset Building Group
MJK Legal Group LLC
National Community Investment Fund
NHS of Chicago
Oak Park Regional Housing Center
Partners In Community Building, Inc. (PICB)
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
South Suburban Housing Center
Spanish Coalition for Housing
The Chicago Urban League
The Resurrection Project
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana
Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Indiana Institute for Working Families
Jeffersonville Housing Services Corporation
Sunflower Community Action
Kentucky Equal Justice Center
Louisville Urban League
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
Lower 9th Ward NENA
NZBC Urban Corporation
Louisiana Budget Project
Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation
Consumer Assistance Council, Inc.
MA Affordable Housing Alliance
Mass. Assoc. of Community Development Corporations
Massachusetts Consumers Council
The Midas Collaborative
United for a Fair Economy
WBZ Call For Action
Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency
Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc.
Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
CASH Campaign of Maryland
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
Public Justice Center
St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
The Development Corporation of Northwest Baltimore
Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM)
Coastal Enterprise, Inc.
Maine Center for Economic Policy
Maine People’s Alliance
Massachusetts Consumers’ Council, Inc.
Michigan Economic Impact Coalition
PIRG in Michigan (PIRGIM)
Consumers Council of Missouri
Credit & Homeownership Empowerment Services, Inc.
Metropolitan Congregations United
Missouri Faith Voices
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi
Covenant Faith Outreach Ministries-Covenant Community Development
Mississippi Center for Justice
Mississippi Faith Leaders United for Fair Lending
Mississippians for Fair Lending
First Congregational UCC Billings
Greater Yellowstone Central Labor Council
Indian People’s Action
RDI Financial Inc
Rural Dynnamics, inc
Montana Fair Housing
Montana Organizing Project
Fair Housing Center of NE-IA
Community Services of Nevada (CSNV)
Granite State Organizing Project
United Valley Interfaith Project
Fair Housing Council of Northern NJ
Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey
Law Offices of Lee M. Perlman
New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center
New Jersey Citizen Action
Albany County Rural Housing Alliance, Inc.
Bankruptcy Law Center
Buffalo Urban League
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.
Cypress Hills Local Development Corp.
Empire Justice Center
Friends of the North Country, Inc.
Genesee Co-op FCU
Housing Help Inc.
Human Development Services of Westchester
Long Island Housing Services, Inc.
Margert Community Corporation
New Economy Project
Pratt Area Community Council
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
Westchester Residential Opportunities, INC
Western New York Law Center
Zeno Gloro Law Office
CCCS of Greater Greensboro, A division of Family Service of the Piedmont Inc.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
Durham Regional Finance Center
Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina
Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
Max Gardner Law
NACA North Carolina
North Carolina Consumers Council
OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling
Robeson County Community Development Corporation, Inc.
North Dakota Economic Security and Prosperity Alliance
Cleveland Jobs with Justice
Communities United For Action
Cozmyk Law Offices
Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.
ESOP (Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People)
Fair Housing Resource Center, Inc.
HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton
Housing Opportunities Made Equal
Housing Research & Advocacy Center
Miami Valley Fair Housing Center
Mills Mills Fiely and Lucas
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland
Ohio CDC Association
Working In Neighborhoods
Oklahoma Policy Institute
NEDCO (Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation)
Oregon Consumer League
Oregon PIRG (OSPIRG)
Portland Housing Center
Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services
ACTION Housing, Inc.
Affordable Housing Centers of Pennsylvania
Bucks County Housing Group
Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition
Community Legal Services, Philadelphia
Integra Home Counseling, Inc.
Keaveney Legal Group
Keystone Research Center
Northwest Counseling Service, Inc.
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Pennsylvania National Organization for Women
Schuylkill Community Action
THE ONE LESS FOUNDATION
One Stop Career Center of PR Inc
NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
RI Coalition for Payday Lending Reform
RI State Council of Churches
Cantrell Legal PC
Charleston Legal Access
Columbia Consumer Education Council
SC Appleseed Legal Justice Cen
South Carolina Christian Action Council
Binghampton Development Corporation
Good Neighbor Foundation
New Level Community Development Corp
Residential Resources, Inc.
Tennessee Citizen Action
Austin Tenants’ Council
Strong Families Coalition of Greater Tarrant County
Coalition of Religious Communities
Vermont Legal Aid
Virginia Citizens Consumer Council
Virginia Poverty Law Center
Main Street Alliance
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
Washington Statewide Poverty Action Network
Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
National Association of Social Work, West Virginia Chapter
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
West Virginia Citizen Action Group