Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., in his ill-advised testimony at a congressional hearing the other day, lambasted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The agency was created by bi-partisan agreement in 2010 to protect American consumers from predatory practices of big banks and payday lenders, some of whom end up charging over 500 percent interest on short-term loans. The CPFB was a positive result of the financial meltdown of 2008 that caused catastrophic loss for millions of Americans.
In his mercifully short diatribe, Mooney did not raise any examples of CFPB malfeasance, only saying that, if he had his way, the agency would not even exist. Displaying even more insensitivity, he dredged up a popular scare tactic, calling the CFPB socialist, which fell flat from lack of relativity.
If Mooney actually doesn’t really understand what the CFPB does, it might look to him like the agency is beating up on innocent companies. If he does know what the CPFB is doing, then he obviously doesn’t want his West Virginia constituents to be compensated for the misdeeds of companies that rip them off.
Since 2011, the CFPB has received more than 1.2 million consumer complaints about their dealings with financial firms. It has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million people wronged by financial institutions, including credit card companies and banks.
If Mooney had any concern for any of us borrowers who use credit cards or take out loans, why would he try to stifle an agency so good at making bad actors pay the price?