POLITICS

Report: CFPB stifles 150,000 jobs after controversial ‘recess’ appointment

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Board, led by a ‘recess appointee’ installed when the Senate was actually in session, has blocked 150,000 jobs and made it difficult for lower-income Americans to access credit, according to a new House report.

“In exercising its vast regulatory powers, the Bureau has not implemented adequate measures to fully assess and address the impact of its actions on credit access,” the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee states in a report released today. “Already, according to estimates, the CFPB has increased the cost of consumer credit by a total of $17 billion and depressed job creation by about 150,000 jobs.”

The report explains that Dodd-Frank rules, which the CFBP develops and implements, are making it difficult for small business owners to borrow money needed for their companies.

“Access to traditional credit sources has become increasingly strained for many small businesses owners,” the report explains. “[A]s a result of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (the Card Act),20 which the CFPB is in charge of implementing, interest rate spreads for credit card loans have increased, making it more difficult for eligible borrowers to access the capital they need for their businesses.”

Moreover, mortgage lending has dropped and new regulations are causing small banks and lenders to close. “In addition, small lenders and community bankers are especially overwhelmed by the onslaught of ‘red tape,’” according to the Committee. “As the regulatory requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act continue to be implemented, more and more small banks are closing or being sold to large competitors.” (That’s an odd outcome given that CFPB was created after a financial crisis that was driven by financial institution considered too big too fail.)

CFPB is also insulated from oversight by the Dodd-Frank law, as Congress has less control over agency funding than it does over other regulatory bodies and the White House Office of Management and Budget does not review its regulations.

“Even the most basic of constitutional safeguards – the Senate’s advice and consent power – was violated when President Obama installed Richard Cordray as CFPB director during a self-proclaimed ‘recess’ of the Senate in January 2012,” the report says. “These circumstances have created the conditions for the CFPB to become a run-away financial regulator that is poised to add uncertainty and illiquidity to domestic credit markets.”

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