Obama looks to defend CFPB from Republican attacks

Obama looks to defend CFPB from Republican attacks
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President Obama on Thursday will criticize Republicans for offering a budget plan he says will drain funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). 
 
The president threatened to veto any legislation that would “unravel” the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, which created the consumer watchdog. 
 
"If Republicans in Congress send me a bill to unravel Wall Street reform, I will veto it," Obama will say during a speech in Birmingham, Ala., on the economy, according to excerpts provided by the White House.
 
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He will call the CFPB "one more way Wall Street reform is protecting working families and taxpayers." 
 
“And it’s one more reason it makes no sense that the Republican budget would make it harder for the CFPB to do its job, and allow Wall Street to go back to the kind of recklessness that led to the crisis in the first place,” he will say.
 
Also Thursday, CFPB Director Richard Cordray is unveiling the new restrictions on payday lenders at a hearing in Richmond, Va., intended to help prevent borrowers from falling deep into debt. 
 
The rules would require lenders to verify that borrowers can pay back loans, limit short-term credits to 45 days or under and sideline borrowers for 60 day if they take out three loans in a row.
 
Obama will praise the agency for “taking new steps towards cracking down on some of the most abusive practices involving payday loans.”
 
“If you’re making that profit by trapping hard-working Americans in a vicious cycle of debt, then you need to find a new way of doing business,” he will say.
 
Meanwhile, Democrats are accusing Republicans of attempting to gut the CFPB through the budget process. The Senate GOP’s budget proposal contains language that would fund the bureau through congressional appropriations. It currently receives funds directly from the Federal Reserve. 
 
Republicans argue the agency has become unaccountable. But if Congress controls the agency’s funding stream, Democrats believe GOP lawmakers will cut off its funding
 
The White House has faced questions about the independence of the CFPB, given that Obama's praise comes the same day as the agency's rollout of its new regulations.
 
“I don't think there’s any basis for anybody to call into question the independence of the CFPB,” press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “Obviously, it is possible for the CFPB to be completely independent but also have the person who is responsible for the creation of the CFPB to be proud of their work.”