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Himpler on the Hill

Himpler on the Hill

AFSA CEO Bill Himpler testified this morning before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) refusal to operate within its congressional mandate and its unhelpful rhetoric harms both consumers and creditors.

Himpler’s testimony centered on five examples of the CFPB’s overreach.

  1. The CFPB seeks to impose limits on arbitration, despite Congress overturning its arbitration rule and the Bureau’s own study showing that arbitration benefits consumers.
  2. The CFPB’s press releases over rules approach means consumers remain struggling.
  3. Regulation by press release can have serious consequences for consumers.
  4. The CFPB is using regulation by enforcement to create back-door changes for the decades-old Truth in Lending Act (TILA) with little concern for harm to consumers.
  5. The CFPB’s misinterpretation of the Military Lending Act (MLA) would harm servicemembers.

You can read details on all these examples in the full testimony or view the hearing.

Committee questions focused on the Bureau’s unconstitutional structure. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) highlighted the Taking Account of Bureaucrats Spending Act (TABS) which he introduced, to bring the Bureau’s structure and funding into alignment with every other regulatory agency in Washington.

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) noted the problems he faced complying with the CFPB’s rulemaking as an auto dealer. He also highlighted the problems with the CFPB’s 1071 rulemaking on small business data collection.

“Last year, the [Small Business Administration] SBA Office of Advocacy even stated that they are concerned that the CFPB’s approach may be unnecessarily burdensome to small entities, may impact the cost of credit to small business, and may lead to a decrease in lending to small minority-owned and women-owned businesses,” said Williams, asking Himpler to expand on the point.

If I can give one example…in the auto finance space, our industry is governed by both the [Federal Reserve] and the CFPB, and there’s incongruity there and they’re promulgating a rule that doesn’t match up,” Himpler said.

Himpler fielded a number of questions from a bipartisan group of Members, highlighting the Bureau’s fast-and-loose style of enforcement by press release and blog post.

March 9th, 2023 by

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