WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the confirmation hearing approaching for President Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today pressed Trump’s pick, Kathy Kraninger, about the agency’s ongoing efforts to roll back a rule that protects consumers from predatory payday loans.
In June, under Trump administration leadership, the agency took the highly unusual step of joining a private industry lawsuit seeking to delay and undermine its own rule.
“The CFPB taking the unprecedented step of joining with payday lenders to sue itself and prevent the implementation of a rule that would help thousands of hardworking families is, frankly, dismaying,” wrote Merkley in a letter to Kraninger. “The clear intent of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act when it enacted the CFPB was to be a voice for consumers, not payday special interests.”
Merkley asked Kraninger to answer the following questions to inform Senators of her position on the payday rule while her nomination is being considered:
- Do you think it was appropriate for the current leadership of the CFPB to join payday lenders in a lawsuit against the agency?
- Will you commit to never joining regulated entities in a lawsuit against the CFPB?
- If confirmed, what are your intentions for the CFPB’s Payday Rule going forward?
- If confirmed, do you hope to eliminate the Payday Rule as currently finalized, yes or no?
- If confirmed, would you plan to fully implement the Payday Rule, as finalized?
“Joining a lawsuit with the payday lending industry, an industry the Bureau is charged with regulating, is a betrayal to consumers and taxpayers,” Merkley wrote. “As the U.S. Senate is in the process of considering your nomination, please respond to these brief but direct questions regarding a critical and long-overdue rule needed to protect consumers in a timely fashion,” he concluded.
The full text of the letter follows below.