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Republicans in Congress Plan To Destroy Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does the vital work of tracking down corporate con artists who use investment scams to cheat people out of their money. In the few years it’s been in existence, the CFPB has already returned billions of dollars from Wall Street criminals to their victims. When Wells Fargo wrecked the credit of huge numbers of Americans by setting up fake bank accounts in their names without their permission, it was the CFPB that held Wells Fargo accountable.

That sounds like a pretty good idea, right? Now comes the bad part. Because the Republicans control Congress and the White House and the Supreme Court now, you know what’s coming. Yes, the Republicans want to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

They want to go back to what they see as the good old days of Bernie Madoff, the Enron scandal, and the credit default swaps that led to the Great Recession of 2007 under George W. Bush. When predatory lenders can suck the life out of working people, Republican politicians call it “freedom”.

Yesterday, U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe and Senator Ted Cruz, both Texas Republicans, introduced identical bills, H.R. 1031 and S. 370. The short, but not very sweet, active provision of their legislation reads, “The Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 is hereby repealed and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”

That’s it. Cruz and Ratcliffe don’t offer any alternative to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They aren’t repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Act and replacing it with an alternative form of consumer protection. They simply want to kill the law, and allow Wall Street hucksters to go on cheating and exploiting people like they did in the first days of this century.

Doing so will increase profits for big financial firms, but will drain the life savings of the Americans they deceive. Of course, it’s big Wall Street firms that make big donations to the Republicans running Congress. Politicians like Ted Cruz and John Ratcliffe know who butters their bread.

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