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Hensarling Grills CFPB's Cordray in House Hearing
Thursday, April 6, 2017 6:45 AM

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told CFPB Director Richard Cordray Wednesday that President Trump should fire him immediately for violations of federal law.

Even before Cordray began testifying at a sometimes-heated committee hearing, Hensarling said a lawsuit that focuses on whether Cordray can be removed for cause or at will should not have any effect on whether Cordray remains in office.

“Either way, I believe the President is clearly justified in dismissing you and I call upon the President – yet again – to do just that, and to do it immediately,” Hensarling told Cordray.

“Mr. Cordray, they really hate you, don’t they?” Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) said as GOP members blasted the director.

At one point, Cordray accused Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) of “character assassination.”

Committee ranking Democrat Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) came to Cordray’s defense, saying, “The Consumer Bureau and Director Cordray are doing exactly the job they are supposed to do, and they are doing it well.”

Cordray defended his agency’s efforts, saying, “They don’t want to give us credit for anything we do.” He added that Republicans attempt to “explain away any positive work done by the Consumer Bureau.”

He said his agency continues to work on such issues as debt collecting and financial performance incentives. He said the CFPB continues to review comments on binding arbitration agreements and payday lending. And he said the agency has worked extensively to protect veterans from financial institutions that might take advantage of them. “They are a magnet for predatory lenders,” he said.

But Hensarling painted a vastly different picture of the agency.

He said that under Cordray’s direction, the CFPB has shown an “utter disregard” for protecting markets and has made credit more expensive.

“For conducting unlawful activities, abusing his authority, and denying market participants due process, Richard Cordray should be dismissed by our President,” the chairman said. “Today, Mr. Cordray and his CFPB don’t just act as a cop on the beat, they act as legislator, prosecutor, judge and jury all rolled into one.”

However, Waters accused Republicans of simply undermining the agency. “Republicans have been clamoring to weaken, impede, and ultimately destroy the Consumer Bureau since its creation,” she said. She added that GOP members have tried to block a director from being appointed and, having failed, they have pushed measures to defund and dismantle the CFPB.

Read more at Credit Union Times.