A Congressman from Wisconsin has opened up a potentially horrific possibility for the CFPB: transparency.
A leading Republican on the House Financial Services Committee introduced a bill to open the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau up to face the same scrutiny as every single other commission, regulatory body and government body with the exception of the CIA and the Federal Open Market Committee.
The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., would apply the Federal Advisory Committee Act to the CFPB and its advisory councils.
"What is the CFPB doing that is on par with the CIA? It makes everyone want to ask, 'what exactly goes on in these meetings?'” Duffy said.
Predictably, the CFPB is aghast at the prospect that their secret rituals (which, we are certain, involve not only exotic forest creatures, but also various forms of gymnastics apparatus, the singing of Gregorian chants, and the excessive use of the word "abusive") might be exposed to the light of day.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray has said the meetings are closed to the public because the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a sunshine law passed in 1972, does not apply to the Bureau.
“Why deny the public the right to observe these meetings?” U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. asked Director Cordray at a January hearing.
Because, Bob (if I may be so bold as to call you "Bob"), as everyone knows, vampires exposed to daylight spontaneously combust.
"If the CFPB is not going to take steps to maintain the transparency it claims it is committed to, we will take the legislative steps for them. My bill, H.R. 4262, mandates that FACA must apply to all of the CFPB's advisory committees. The people have a right to know what their government is up to, and the government has a responsibility to provide that transparency," he said.
This is all political theater, since no such bill has a chance of passing the Senate this year, even if Duffy, et al., steer it through the Republican-dominated House. I guess this is "laying down a marker," like a dog does with a fire hydrant. It lets the other dogs know that you claim the territory and that you'll keep coming back until your opponents get the point. It's setting the table for what might be more realistic to enact in 2015.
Expect the CFPB to fight this "reform" every chance it gets. While it loves shining the burning light of day on its intended victims, it prefers that spf 45 sunblock be applied to itself.