Majority of Americans Oppose New Government Agency
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UPDATED: Nov 22, 2011
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According to a press release by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a new survey reveals the majority of Americans would have opposed the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) if they had more information about the bureau’s power.
Largely in response to the housing crisis, the CFPB was established in 2010 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act with the purpose of protecting borrowers from abusive or predatory financial practices.
But Harris Interactive, the company hired by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to conduct the survey, exposes the public’s true feelings about this agency established to protect them.
When the survey revealed to its testing sample that the CFPB “has access to more than half a billion dollars in government funding each year, and does not need congressional approval to spend this money,” 68% said they were less likely to support its creation.
When told “the CFPB is run by a single director confirmed by the Senate for a 5-year term who can only be removed from power by the President in extreme circumstances,” 64% were less likely to support the creation of the CFPB.
According to the survey, this powerful bureau also has the ability to ban features of products or entire products that it deems unfair.
David Hirschmann, president of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Market Competitiveness, said “This poll shows that when the American people learn about the CFPB, they are wary of its broad powers, unaccountability to Congress, and direct funding outside the budget process,” according to the press release.
“For this agency to succeed, it must provide accountability to the American people at a time when jobs and our economy are at stake,” Hirschman continued.
With $500 million at the disposal of a single director who cannot be fired except by the President of the United States, Hirschman’s statement about the American peoples’ attitude may not be that inaccurate.
The extraordinary power this bureau gives a single, unchecked director prompted 44 republican senators to send a letter to President Obama declaring their unwillingness to confirm any nominee to be the director of the CFPB—regardless of party affiliation—according to a press release by Senator Ard Shelby earlier this year.