Dec. 10, 2015

Extent of Chamber Attacks on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Revealed in New Report

Analysis Highlights How U.S. Chamber of Commerce Works for Wall Street at the Expense of Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As congressional Republicans threaten to shut down the government over ideological policy provisions including an attempt to eviscerate the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch released a report documenting the business lobby’s efforts and arguments against the new agency’s benefits to consumers.

The analysis, "Undermining the CFPB," is contained in the second of three reports on the Chamber’s broad attacks against Wall Street.

“Predatory lenders should not exist in the American economy, let alone enjoy representation by the largest business lobby in the United States,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen. “The CFPB should be protected, as it in turn protects consumers.”

Public Citizen’s report highlights the Chamber’s defense of the onerous credit card terms megabanks promote at the expense of consumers. It also looks at the Chamber’s attempt to stifle dialogue between the CFPB and the U.S. Department of Defense as the agencies work to protect members of the military from predatory lending – a goal especially important for vulnerable service members deployed overseas.

“The Chamber should welcome the CFPB’s work to deter improper behavior,” said Don Marlais, a consultant and the report’s author. “The agency not only helps guard against conduct that can be harmful to consumers, but it also levels the playing field for honest companies, especially the small and medium-sized businesses the Chamber purports to represent.”

Even before Congress created the CFPB in 2010, the Chamber spent $3 million on advertising to contest the idea of the agency, which was championed by Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who subsequently became a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Defunding and stifling the CFPB’s governance remains a priority for congressional Republicans in the current budget debates. Operation of the federal government may be held hostage to this goal.

Read the report.

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Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch project promotes greater transparency and accountability in American politics by shedding light on the lobbying, campaign spending and misinformation campaigns of the largest corporate lobbying group in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the large corporations that provide the majority of its funding.