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GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
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Two Republican lawmakers introduced Tuesday companion bills to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the controversial watchdog agency long targeted by the GOP.

The bills from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump recounts 2016 feud with Cruz at Houston campaign rally Trump says he’s made up with ‘Beautiful Ted’ Cruz The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump says he is cutting foreign aid over caravan | Lawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince | DNC chair downplays 'blue wave' talk MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB.

Republicans have long sought to eliminate or drastically reform the CFPB, but Cruz and Ratcliffe’s approach goes further than current GOP proposals to reshape the bureau.

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Cruz said in a statement his bill “gives Congress the opportunity to free consumers and small businesses from the CFPB’s regulatory blockades and financial activism, which stunt economic growth.”

“While there’s much more to do to scale back the harmful regulatory impositions of Dodd-Frank, this legislation takes a critical step in the right direction,” said Cruz.

The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCongress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia Senators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPaul to Saudi government: 'It takes a lot of damn gall' to lecture US Congress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump says he is cutting foreign aid over caravan | Lawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince | DNC chair downplays 'blue wave' talk MORE (Ky.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGraham: 'Game changer' if Saudis behind journalist's disappearance GOP senators ask EPA to block states that have 'hijacked' rule to stop fossil fuel production Pentagon releases report on sexual assault risk MORE (Okla.) and Mike Rounds (S.D.).

Ratcliffe said “President Trump has made it clear he’ll join us in our fight to dismantle Dodd-Frank,” possibly referring to the president’s pledge to deconstruct the law without providing details on how the White House would like to do so.

“I’m optimistic at our renewed chances of advancing this effort with a willing partner in the White House,” said Ratcliffe.

Republicans have consistently opposed the CFPB since the agency opened in 2011. They say the bureau — controlled by an independent director with regulatory and punitive power — is unaccountable and too powerful.

House Republicans have proposed replacing the director with a bipartisan commission and letting Congress control the CFPB budget, currently funded by the Federal Reserve.

But a recent memo from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) contained an idea to keep the CFPB’s director while eliminating much of the bureau’s punitive and regulatory powers. It would still be subject to congressional funding under the new proposal.

Democrats are staunch defenders of the CFPB. They cite the more than $11 billion in restitution the agency won for defrauded Americans, and high-profile enforcement and regulatory actions taken against Wells Fargo, payday lenders and other financial services providers

Updated at 5:02 p.m.