House GOP outlines contempt case against Cordray

House GOP outlines contempt case against Cordray
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Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have laid the groundwork to hold Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray in contempt of Congress.

Staff to GOP lawmakers on the Financial Services panel, who’ve already called for Cordray’s dismissal, released a report Friday outlining their case. The report claims Cordray violated several committee subpoenas issued in April related to the CFPB’s forced arbitration clause rule.

The report claims that Cordray failed to turn over documents that committee Republicans requested from the CFPB in April related to the arbitration rule, which was finalized late last month.

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Financial Services Republicans have long threatened to hold Cordray in contempt of Congress for failing to respect subpoenas, while the CFPB has insisted it’s done what’s required.

While Republicans haven’t filed a formal legal challenge yet, it’s the latest escalation in the contentious relationship between the GOP and CFPB.

Republicans say the CFPB, established in 2011 by Dodd-Frank to police predatory lending, is an unaccountable agency strangling banks and bullying financial services providers with overreaching, unconstitutional regulations and enforcement actions. They’ve passed sweeping legislation to rein in the bureau, limit it powers and give lawmakers control of its budget.

GOP lawmakers have also criticized Cordray’s record leading the CFPB. Republicans paint Cordray, the former Democratic attorney general of Ohio, as a partisan using the bureau’s expansive powers to bolster his political profile before a rumored 2018 gubernatorial run.

Democrats have fiercely defended the bureau since its inception and praised Cordray’s work.

“The Republican attacks on Director Cordray and the Consumer Bureau are entirely baseless, and there are no grounds at all for them to hold the Director in contempt, as they are angling to do in the staff report released today,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the Financial Services panel ranking member.

“I will continue to stand up for the hardworking Americans that the Consumer Bureau defends every day and fight against these misguided Republican attacks.”