McGuire Woods attorneys Matthew Orso and Joshua Davey recently discussed the hypocrisy of the CFPB’s public statements that it favors “transparency” and claims that it is not subject to “the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”), which, among other items, requires an agency to hold committee and subcommittee meetings in public.”
Only three agencies are statutorily exempted from FACA – the Central Intelligence Agency, the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Federal Reserve.
Yet despite the fact that the CFPB is not involved in intelligence gathering or the setting of monetary policy, Director Richard Cordray has taken the position that it is not subject to FACA.
Unfortunately for the CFPB, Cordray made the claim to a Wisconsin Congressman, who wanted to attend a CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Committee meetings in February, at the time that the CFPB denied his request. That Congressman turned around and introduced a bill to peel back the curtain on whatever the CFPB is trying to hide. We hope that it’s not a wizard.
Congressman Sean Duffy claims that his bill, the Bureau Advisory Transparency Act, “mandates that FACA must apply to all of the CFPB’s advisory committees. The people have a right to know what their government is up to, and the government has a responsibility to provide that transparency.” In addition to that act, Orso and Davey note that “a budget amendment has been proposed by Senator Perdue to subject the CFPB to the Congressional appropriations process, rather than allowing its continued operation under the Federal Reserve with no accountability to Congress. The amendment seeks to allow Congressional oversight of the CFPB’s functions in light of its roughly $600 million budget.”
Transparency and accountability. For the CFPB? Expect the Massachusetts Mohican to go on the warpath against these heinous concepts. They’re fine when they apply to the rest of the world, but not when they try to impede the “justice for all” that can only be provided by the benevolent despots whose ideology is pure and must remain unsullied by the low-lives who inhabit the opposing realms of the universe (i.e., the other 99%). After all, what will happen to the fog-brained poor without Aunt Lizzie and her cadre of true believers to tell them what they ought to want?
Davey and Orso close with a dash of hope and a dollop of reality.
The days of the CFPB’s clandestine policymaking and unbridled activities may be coming to a close. Don’t expect it to happen without a fight.
The following is rare footage of Senator Warren sending the Adjustment Bureau’s famous “Flying Squad” of litigation lawyers after a transparency-seeking waif and her little dog. Those offended by the sight of chimps with wings, or scarecrow stomping, should shield their eyes.