Imagine the psychological wear and tear of being a Congressional Republican. You have to tamp down any creative or helpful impulse and instead be in constant attack and destruction mode. So of course they're going off on the CFPB! God forbid ordinary people have any recourse against the behemoths of Big Business. Via Mother Jones:
Ever since Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) helped get the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau off the ground in 2010, Republicans have been trying to shut it down. GOPers drafted legislation to weaken the fledgling agency, which was designed to prevent mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and other financial institutions from screwing average Americans. The measures died. Republicans turned to the courts to gut the bureau. That effort failed. Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, they have another weapon at their disposal: new subpoena powers they can deploy to blitz the CFPB with document requests.
The goal is obvious: dig out material the GOPers can use to embarrass the agency. And if nothing untoward is discovered, Republican legislators can at least pin down the bureau with onerous paperwork demands. Democrats fear Republicans' new information-gathering abilities will make it easier for the agency's foes to launch witch-hunt style investigations of the CFPB similar to those former House oversight committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) launched regarding Benghazi and the IRS.
All committees in both the House and the Senate have the right to subpoena federal agencies for information. But until recently, either the most senior committee member from the minority party had to sign off on a subpoena or the entire committee had to vote on the request. In the last Congress, six House committees okayed a rule change giving the committee chair unilateral subpoena power. On Tuesday, the House financial services committee—which has jurisdiction over the CFPB—voted along party lines to grant the same privilege to its Republican chairman, Jeb Hensarling of Texas.
Republicans already have a track record of looking for information that could tarnish the CFPB's reputation, and Democrats fully expect Hensarling to continue down the same path. And now Hensarling, a fierce CFPB critic, will be able to more easily mount politically motivated investigations of the agency.↓ Story continues below ↓
[...] "We think it’s ridiculous that the Republican leadership is exporting the Issa model to the rest of the House," a Democratic staffer told Politico. Several other House committees are expected to approve similar powers for their chairs this month.