House Republicans Accuse CFPB’s Chopra of ‘Colluding’ With State AGs
Accusation comes in response to interpretive rule regarding states coordinating with CFPB on enforcement.
House Financial Services Committee Republicans are accusing CFPB Director Rohit Chopra of “colluding” with state attorneys general in violation of federal law.
“While Congress intended for the CFPB to enforce federal consumer financial laws and protect consumers in the marketplace, it did not intend for the CFPB to intimidate companies by conspiring with state agencies to pursue duplicative enforcement actions,” Financial Services Committee ranking Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, and Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Tom Emmer, R-Minn., wrote in a letter to Chopra late last week.
Interpretive Rule in Question
In May, the CFPB released an interpretative rule stating that states may bring enforcement actions in coordination with the CFPB. “Nothing in the Consumer Financial Protection Act precludes these complementary enforcement activities that serve to protect consumers at both the national and state levels,” the agency said.
The three House Republicans disagreed, saying that while state attorneys general may enforce consumer protection laws when the CFPB has not, federal law does not allow them to become a party to an existing CFPB complaint.
“It is therefore inappropriate for the CFPB to recruit a state attorney general that is not otherwise investigating a company, to pursue enforcement as a means of intimidation,” the GOP members wrote.
They went on to ask the CFPB for documents relating to agency work with state officials, as well as any legal justification for the agency’s work with them.