Cruz calls for abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzLynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting The Trail 2016: Meet and greet and grief Trump to meet with Senate GOP next week MORE (R-Texas) on Tuesday called for abolishing the consumer watchdog agency established by President Obama’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

Cruz, who is running for president, teamed up with fellow Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe (R) to introduce legislation that would eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They said the agency is an example of Washington cronyism that "invites regulatory excess and abuse.”

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“Don’t let the name fool you, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does little to protect consumers,” Cruz said.

“The agency continues to grow in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people.”

"The only way to stop this runaway agency is by eliminating it altogether.” 

Cruz and Ratcliffe unveiled their bill on the fifth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial law, which created the bureau. The agency was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans The Trail 2016: When a pivot isn’t always a pivot Overnight Tech: Facebook's changes worry publishers | First stage of spectrum auction ends | Clinton recruits from Silicon Valley MORE (D-Mass.), who helped get it up and running as a White House adviser.

Republicans have deemed the 2010 overhaul of the financial system a failure and want to pare back the regulatory framework it created.

The consumer bureau has been one of the most hotly contested elements of the law, with Republicans fighting its creation from the start. Industry groups are also critics of the bureau, arguing it has too much power and is in need of reform.

Cruz said abolishing the consumer bureau would be a “step in the right direction” toward correcting "the harmful regulatory impositions of Dodd-Frank.

“So today let’s celebrate the CFPB’s fourth and final anniversary,” Cruz said. 

Separately, Texas Republican Reps. Randy NeugebauerRandy NeugebauerThe Durbin Amendment: a costly price control experiment Price-fixing debit card fees hurts free markets, but two members of Congress want to bring It back Durbin amendment is a failure for customers: Repeal the merchant markup MORE and Roger WilliamsRoger WilliamsEthics extends review of Republican over car rental amendment GOP bill targets CFPB regulatory powers Small Business Week: celebrate business owners, don't break them MORE argued Tuesday in the American Banker that the CFPB "is responsible for some of the most consequential regulations that are hurting economic growth and stifling opportunity for individuals and families across America.

“To more efficiently and effectively protect consumers while enabling our economy to reach its full potential, we must increase accountability and transparency at the CFPB,” they wrote. 

They argue that instead of helping consumers by regulating and reining in larger financial institutions, the CFPB has squashed smaller banks and limited options for consumers. 

“The CFPB’s regulatory zeal has stripped American consumers and businesses of their freedom of choice and has limited their access to capital — all in the name of a 'we know best' attitude from Washington,” Ratcliffe said. 

Forty-six lawmakers have signed on to Ratcliffe’s House bill eliminating the CFPB.

“I hear from businesses forced to spend more time on unnecessary regulatory compliance paperwork than helping serve their customers, and financial institutions that have stopped providing certain basic financial services out of fear of retaliation from the CFPB," Ratcliffe said.

"We must eliminate the CFPB."