WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - An agency created to protect American consumers could be on the chopping block. Some Republicans in Washington are looking to get rid of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) says the CFPB has done more harm than good, but Democrats aren't buying it.
Congressman Ratcliffe (R-TX) says the CFPB has done nothing but terrorize average Americans.
"Instead of helping consumers or protecting them, it's really been terrorizing them," said Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe is introducing a bill that is short and to the point; abolishing the CFPB.
"We have farmers and ranchers and small-businessmen, hard-working Texans, that are finding their community banks and their credit unions closing on a daily basis, unable to get short-term lending," said Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe says the agency is a perfect example of overregulation. A key component of the Dodd-Frank legislation created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the bureau has wide-ranging oversight over financial institutions, markets and consumer complaints. Ratcliffe says his bill will help put an end to restrictions on Americans.
"It's very much intended to help the average citizen, certainly not to hurt them," said Ratcliffe. "And I think that's what the CFPB has done."
House Democrats see the opposite. They say the goal of the bureau is to protect consumers. In difficult financial times, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nevada) says this agency needs to expand, not close down.
"It doesn't surprise me that we have the Republicans who are trying to protect the big corporations and the multibillionaires at the expense of the American people," said Kihuen.
Kihuen's home state was hit hard by the 2008 recession and continues to crawl back to stability. He says taking the leash off financial institutions allows them to take advantage of Americans.
"All the evidence that we've seen from the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is that they've helped millions of people all across the country get money back," said Kihuen. "They've helped them keep their homes. And that's what it's tasked to do."
The legislation currently sits in the House Committee on Financial Services. It has 24 co-sponsors, all Republican.
A spokesman from the CFPB said they do not comment on proposed or pending legislation.