In another shot fired at the CFPB, the Republican staff of theHouse Financial Services Committee says there is sufficientevidence to hold Director Richard Cordray in contempt ofCongress for failing to comply with a committee subpoena forrecords dealing with the agency's arbitration rule.

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In a report released Friday, the GOP staff said the committee'srequest for certain records dealing with agency decision-making hasbeen outstanding for 471 days.

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Republican committee staff members already have said thatCordray could be held in contempt of Congress over allegations thatthe agency failed to produce records the panel requested dealingwith the CFPB's Wells Fargo probe.

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Democrats have accused the Financial Services CommitteeRepublicans of harassing the CFPB. Ranking Democrat Maxine Watershas said that a new committee rule that allows Chairman JebHensarling (R-Texas) to unilaterally issue subpoenas has resultedin the committee hounding Cordray.

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In the past, such subpoenas would have had to be approved by thecommittee.

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In this latest skirmish, the GOP staff charges that Cordray hasfailed to produce records dealing with the agency's final rule thatguarantees consumers the right to file class action lawsuitsagainst financial institutions.

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The report states that the agency has failed to produce recordsconcerning CFPB's communications with several groups concerning thearbitration rule. Those groups are the American Association forJustice; the National Consumer Law Center; the National Associationof Consumer Advocates; the Alliance for Justice; and PublicJustice.

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The agency also failed to send the committee all communicationsbetween CFPB employees concerning the arbitration rule, the GOPstaff. The committee has requested those records as well.

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The report also states that Hensarling has authorized tensubpoenas to current and former CFPB employees concerningobstruction of the committee's investigations.

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The committee had requested that the bureau would not issue afinal arbitration rule until the records were produced andcommittee staff had the chance to review them.

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The agency issued the rule last month.

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The House has passed a resolution nullifying the arbitrationrule. The Senate may consider it when it returns in September.

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CFPB spokesperson Jennifer Howard said the agency is “workingdiligently” with the Financial Services Committee on severaloversight issues.

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“On this particular matter, we have produced thousands of pagesof documents thus far, and by next week we will have completelyresponded to one of the [categories of records] at issue,” shesaid. “We will continue our efforts to understand how we canrespond to the Committee in a satisfactory manner.”

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