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Sen. Portman Calls for Dedicated Inspector General for CFPB

Another day, another bill addressing the CFPB. This time, it’s legislation to appoint an inspector general solely dedicated to the consumer protection agency. Under current law, one inspector general, who is chosen by the Federal Reserve chairman, has authority over the CFPB and the Fed.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation on March 14 calling for an inspector general for the CFPB that is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Appointing a Senate-confirmed “watchdog” will provide greater CFPB accountability, according to Portman.

“Given the vast powers of this large bureaucracy and the CFPB’s insulation from congressional oversight, it is critical that it have an independent [inspector general] to ensure robust oversight,” he said when he introduced SB 626. “Every federal agency should be responsive and accountable to the American people, and this bill will help ensure we have an independent [inspector general] in place like we do at other federal agencies.”

Portman has floated this legislation in the past; however, this is the first time he has done so with Republican Donald Trump as president and a Republican-controlled Congress.

The bill, which was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has the early support of fellow Republican Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mont.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Dean Heller (Nev.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), all of whom cosponsored the legislation. Since President Trump took office, a bevy of bills have been introduced to limit the power of the CFPB, change its structure or even abolish the agency.

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