The results of the election combined with the ruling by the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals all but ensure that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be facing “bigly” changes very soon. With a Republican controlled Congress and executive branch beginning next year, the CFPB’s robust rulemaking will undoubtedly be reined in.

In the 5 short years since being established the CFPB has become a symbol of Washington’s regulatory mindset. By ignoring the voice of the American people, it has become the fastest rulemaking body in the federal government. In total nearly 50 regulations have been implemented by the agency that have led to billions of dollars in additional costs for American consumers and severely impacted small businesses across the country.

In October the agency was dealt a massive blow when the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that its’ structure was unconstitutional. Overnight one of the most powerful and autonomous agencies in the federal government was forced to comply with extensive oversight as a part of the U.S. Treasury Department. 

As head of the executive branch, President Donald Trump will have no shortage of options as to how to deal with the CFPB. Currently, the agency must “ensure the benefits of their proposed regulations outweigh the costs”, but under a Trump Presidency he can further curtail the CFPB by firing its director and nominating a more pro-consumer one in his place.

If Trump requires additional options he can look to pending legislation in Congress. In September the House Financial Services Committee approved H.R. 5983, the Financial CHOICE Act. Introduced by Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the Financial CHOICE Act significantly reduces the regulatory burden felt by American consumers and small business, and restructures the CFPB. It replaces the sole director of the agency with a 5-member bipartisan board and subjects it to oversight by Congress. Originally thought to be an uphill legislative battle, thanks to the election passage of the Financial CHOICE Act now looks within reach.  

After he officially takes the oath of office in January, President Trump will have the tools necessary to help American consumers and small business across America. The critical first step in doing so will be to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore