A powerful House committee chairman has used a vote on the National Labor Relations Board to take aim at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The House Financial Services Committee said Friday that Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) voted with the majority Thursday to require the NLRB to cease activity until legal uncertainty over the president’s appointment of board members is resolved.
The resolution, H.R. 1120, is titled “Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act” and was sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.). According to House records, the resolution passed 226-194.
In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated three appointments President Barack Obama made to the NLRB a year earlier, unanimously ruling that the president had exceeded his constitutional authority in bypassing Senate confirmation.
On the same day the president made the now-invalidated NLRB appointments, he appointed Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – again, bypassing the constitutionally required Senate confirmation, the committee said.
“In the same way the NLRB appointments create uncertainty, the president’s non-recess recess appointment of the CFPB director calls into question the legality of all actions undertaken by the CFPB since this appointment was made,” Hensarling said.
“Congress and the president should take this opportunity to enact common-sense fixes so the CFPB is accountable and transparent to hard-working taxpayers,” Hensarling said.
“That means, at a minimum, the CFPB should be governed by a bipartisan commission, which is how other federal agencies charged with consumer or investor protection operate,” the Texas Republican said.
“And to ensure there is proper oversight of its spending, the CFPB’s budget secrecy must end,” he said.
Cordray’s permanent appointment to the post was approved by the Senate Banking Committee on March 19 and now awaits a vote by the full Senate.