Friday, February 1, 2013

Last Call

Republicans say they will indefinitely block Rob Cordray and any nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the President agrees to strip the agency of any actual oversight powers, mainly because consumers don't matter to Republicans, only banks do.

Silly consumers.  Adam Serwer:

Senate Republicans want three big changes before they'll stop blocking Cordray. First, they want the CPFB to be by Congress rather than the Federal Reserve. Subjecting the bureau to the congressional appropriations process would compromise its political independence. Second, Republicans want the range of financial institutions the bureau has authority to regulate narrowed. This would leave unsupervised some of the problematic institutions the bureau was created to regulate. Finally, the GOP is demanding that other bank regulators—the same ones who failed to prevent the 2008 financial meltdown—be allowed to chaperone the CFPB by "verifying" that its rules "would not harm the safety and soundness of banks." This would let regulators who turned a blind eye to exploitative practices in the past because they were profitable tell the CFPB what to do—and the more different regulators have to approve of a rule, the more convoluted and less effective it is likely to be.

Blocking Cordray could leave the CPFB without most of its powers to regulate the very financial institutions whose practices helped lead the country into near-economic collapse in 2008. That's just how Republicans want it. Having failed to prevent the financial regulation law from being passed, they are now seeking to nullify it through procedural extortion. 

Either way, the GOP figures, the agency is effectively shut down until Republicans can kill it.   They don't want anyone protecting the people from the banks, they want the banks protected from the people.

But there's no difference between the parties, right?

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