Letter from committee leaders lays out instances in which they contend the bureau has exceeded congressional authorization.
Armed with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the limits of regulatory power, Republican leaders of two committees last week warned CFPB Director Rohit Chopra that he continues to exceed the power he was given under the Dodd-Frank Act.
“Since becoming Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you have undertaken a number of so-called ‘initiatives’ that circumvent not only Congressional intent, but the Administrative Procedure Act,” Reps. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, and James Comer, R-Ky., ranking GOP member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, wrote in a letter to Chopra.
They added, “As we have stated on several previous occasions, you have consistently operated the Bureau outside its authority.”
Republicans have harshly criticized most of Chopra’s decisions as director. With the upcoming midterm elections and the possibility that Republicans may capture control of one or both the House and Senate, those attacks have gained importance.
Supreme Court Case Cited
McHenry and Comer cited a June Supreme Court ruling in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of West Virginia. In that case, the court said the EPA exceeded its authority when it set an emissions cap on greenhouse gasses. The court said that it was a “major question” and that without congressional authority, the EPA did not have the power to set the cap.
The Biden Administration has largely relied on executive actions “to advance its radical agenda,” McHenry and Comer charged.
And they warned Chopra, “Given this administration’s track record, we are compelled to underscore the implications of West Virginia v. EPA and to remind you of the limitations on your authority.”
Interpretative Rule Questioned
They additionally cited several examples of instances where they contend that Chopra has exceeded his power, which included an interpretive rule expanding the power of states to enforce federal consumer protection laws.
“The House Committees for Financial Services and Oversight and Reform intend to exercise robust investigative and legislative powers to not only forcefully reassert our Article I responsibilities, but to ensure that neither you nor the Biden administration can continue to exceed Congressional authorizations,” the congressmen wrote.