GOP’s Latest Consumer Bureau Attack

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You knew this was coming. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.), the new oversight chief on the House financial services committee, sent a letter on Tuesday to Elizabeth Warren, who runs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, grilling her on the bureau’s plans while slamming the bureau altogether. According to Politico, Neugebauer writes that Warren is “tasked with executing a fatally flawed plan” by getting the consumer bureau up and running.

Neugebauer’s questioning ranges from the nuts and bolts of running the bureau to requests for detailed information on Warren’s meetings with top financial regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve, among others. But other questions clearly show Neugebauer’s opposition to the agency and belief that it’s just more unneeded regulation. For instance, he asks: “What policies are in place to avoid potential duplicative, conflicting or overlapping rule-making that are currently underway, but will ultimately be under the regulatory authority of the CFPB?” He also demands Warren explain how the bureau’s new rule-making would “avoid the kind of overregulation that might stifle innovation.”

Not that Neugebauer’s dislike of the bureau is surprising. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the financial services committee chair, has expressed his distaste for Warren’s outfit. So has Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a top member on the committee, who’s tried to hack away at the bureau’s rule-making power by giving bank regulators—the ones who failed to prevent the meltdown of 2008—veto power over the bureau. Already Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the banking committee and consumer bureau opponent, has demanded that Warren make her schedule public.

Neugebauer’s letter is only the beginning. The GOP-led financial services committee will no doubt make the declawing of the consumer bureau a priority in the 112th Congress, and it’ll be up to Democrats to stand their ground and defend the much-needed bureau for which they fought so hard.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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