WASHINGTON — Credit union executives attending NAFCU's 2012 Congressional Caucus' first day on Wednesday witnessed a spirited defense and attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from lawmakers from both political parties.
Rep. William Clay Jr.(D-Mo.) defended the new agency and the Dodd-Frank Act which created it, noting that it outlawed “too big to fail” institutions and would prevent taxpayers from having to bail them out lest they wreck the entire financial system.
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“Never again will American taxpayers have to bail out institutions that have become too big to fail,” Clay told the executives in a very gravelly voice.
He also, several times, thanked the audience for NAFCU's help in his primary victory during a tight race.
He was followed at the podium by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, (R-Texas) who announced his arrival at the podium with the statement, “Now for something a little different.”
To healthy applause, Hensarling attacked the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Act as a “legislative drive-by shooting”.
Later he described the Dodd-Frank Act as an outline of a law aimed at guiding bureaucrats in the creation of more bureaucracy and told an anecdote starring his daughter for which the punch line was her question about whether Washington, D.C., was in America. “Out of the mouths of babes … ,” Hensarling said.
The problems with the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank, in his view, are that the agency is an attack on “individual liberty” and that the act is nothing more than a wave of additional regulations.
Hensarling never explained how some of the agency's alleged pernicious effects were supposed to occur, but cited governmental and non-governmental sources as reporting the organization would wind up limiting consumer's credit options and driving up interest rates.
He also attacked the idea of the “fiscal cliff” crisis of sequestration, arguing it should be considered a national defense fiscal crisis and a taxation crisis since cuts in non-defense spending would only amount to 3%.