A Congressman Hell-Bent on Destroying the CFPB
Jeb Hensarling is a right-wing, Tea Party congressman and current Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (FSC). He has received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)-regulated companies, and has taken more money from Wall Street special interests than any other member of Congress. He even entertained industry lobbyists, weeks after he was named chairman of the FSC, at the “‘Ritz-Carlton of ski resorts.'”
Before becoming a member of Congress, Hensarling worked for two companies whose owners amassed over $500 million in “illegal investment gains” hidden in “a web of offshore companies.” The SEC brought charges over actions taken while Hensarling worked for the businessmen, who were early political backers of the would-be congressman.
Hensarling has been one of Congress’ most vocal opponents to the CFPB, the agency he is now under consideration to lead. He has used his chairmanship of the FSC to relentlessly attack the Bureau and has even said he wants to see the agency “functionally terminated” and that the CFPB director should not exist.
The extreme anti-consumer views held by Hensarling extend well beyond the CFPB. He opposes the existence of the minimum wage, and even tried to repeal a law that banned racial discrimination in residential lending.
Jeb Hensarling is Wall Street’s favorite member of Congress, so it’s clear whose side he would be on if he is selected to lead the CFPB.
Highlights: Wall Street’s Favorite Congressman Has Always Had Their Back, Not Ours
Hensarling Has Taken More Money from Wall Street Than Any Other Member of Congress
Hensarling has taken almost $5 million from Wall Street special interests, more than any other member of Congress. He has “received $1.3 million from commercial banks, $1.4 million from securities and investment firms, $1.4 million from insurers and $703,304 from finance and credit companies.” As of February 2017, Hensarling “has received more campaign donations from banks, insurance companies and the securities and investment industry than any other member of Congress.” [David Lazarus, “Banks fund foe of CFPB,” The Los Angeles Times, 04/07/17; Dave Lieber, “Agency that fights for us under attack,” The Dallas Morning News, 02/10/17]
While Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Hensarling Vacationed at an Elite Resort with Wall Street Lobbyists
One of Hensarling’s first moves as Financial Services Committee Chairman was to go on vacation with Wall Street lobbyists at the “‘Ritz-Carlton of ski resorts.'” In January 2013, “Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, ascended to the powerful chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee. Six weeks later, campaign finance filings and interviews show, Hensarling was joined by representatives of the banking industry for a ski vacation fundraiser at a posh Park City, Utah, resort.” Hensarling’s PAC “held the fundraiser at the St. Regis Deer Valley, the ‘Ritz-Carlton of ski resorts’ known for its ‘white-glove service’ and for its restaurant by superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.” [Justin Elliott, “House Finance Chair Hensarling Goes on Ski Vacation with Wall Street“, ProPublica, 04/30/13]
Hensarling Doesn’t Even Believe That The CFPB, Or The Director Position, Should Exist
Hensarling believes that the CFPB “‘must be functionally terminated'” and that the Director position should be replaced with a “bipartisan commission.” “[Jeb] Hensarling has proposed legislation that would repeal the CFPB entirely and echoed that goal in his op-ed, saying the agency “must be functionally terminated.” Hensarling’s CHOICE Act would also “restructure all agencies led by a single director – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – into bipartisan commissions and require them to do a cost-benefit analysis on any new proposals.” [Matt Egan, “GOP declares all-out war on Elizabeth Warren’s agency”, CNN Money, 02/09/17; Ian McKendry, “Hensarling Targets GSE Reform, Dodd-Frank Rollback in Ambitious Agenda,” American Banker, 11/16/16]
Hensarling Wants to Roll Back Protections Against Housing Discrimination and Eliminate the Minimum Wage
Hensarling supported repealing a bill that was enacted to prevent “redlining.” On April 15, 2010, Hensarling introduced H.R.5038, or the Fair Access to Credit and Job Creation Act of 2010, which would have simply repealed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 “was enacted in 1977 to prevent redlining and to encourage banks and savings associations (collectively, banks) to help meet the credit needs of all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and individuals.” [“R.5038 – Fair Access to Credit and Job Creation Act of 2010,” US House of Representatives, 111th Congress; “Community Reinvestment Act Face Sheet,” Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, March 2014]
Hensarling opposed the minimum wage, casting it as an obstacle to “‘maximum opportunity.'” Hensarling, after the House of Representatives voted, in January 2007, to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 by 2009, “said ‘lucky’ workers would see their pay rise to $7.25 an hour, but he predicted that many more will have their hours or benefits cut or lose their jobs.” “‘In America we can either have maximum opportunity or we can have minimum wages. We cannot have both,’” Hensarling said. [Margaret Taleve, “Pay boost to $7.25 is OK’d by House,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 01/11/07]