By Peter Schroeder - 03/01/11 06:47 PM EST
"The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB tremendous power, with virtually no oversight, to go after bad actors," said Jess Sharp, executive director for the Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Effectiveness. "If that power isn't used carefully, there could be serious collateral damage to America's job creators."
Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Regulation: FDA campaign targets smoking in LGBT community Warren presses White House to move ahead on overtime rules Clinton: There are a lot of qualified people for VP MORE, in her capacity as special assistant to the president in charge of setting up the new bureau, has served as the de facto head of the CFPB since it was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. However, no one, including Warren, has been officially nominated to head the bureau once it is put in place. The CFPB is set to go live in July.
During the debate on Dodd-Frank, the CFPB was a hotly contested issue. A high priority for liberals and consumer groups, the agency was strongly opposed by business groups, who warned it would stifle innovation with burdensome regulations.
Since Dodd-Frank was signed into law, congressional Republicans have repeatedly complained that the bureau falls outside the lines of traditional congressional oversight, due in large part to the fact that its budget is not subject to the regular appropriations process.
The groups laid out several other recommendations for the bureau to consider in its early stages. The agency should ensure its work is well-coordinated with other agencies, and should avoid prohibiting certain types of financial products, they said.
Furthermore, the CFPB needs to tread lightly, and make sure that its regulatory work is not duplicating regulations enforced by other regulators. If the CFPB takes on too broad a role, it would be "particularly problematic" for Main Street businesses, the groups warned.
The CFPB also needs to pursue a close working relationship with federal and state regulators, and needs to acknowledge the reality that excessive regulations could stifle small-business access to credit, the groups said.