This Wednesday, May 21, the House Financial Services Committee will hold two hearings discussing the CFPB. The first hearing, held by the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, will continue the Committee’s previous hearing on alleged CFPB employee discrimination. Entitled “Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Part Two,” the Subcommittee will continue its investigation into the allegations of racial discrimination in performance reviews used to grant raises and issue bonuses. Liza Strong, Lead of Employee Relations at the CFPB and Benjamin Konop, Executive Vice President of the National Treasury Employees Union are slated to testify. M. Stacey Bach, the Assistant Director of the CFPB’s Office of Equal Opportunity Employment, will not appear due to a medical condition, but Ms. Bach will be required to submit a transcribed interview with committee staff within a month of tomorrow’s hearing. Given the recent American Banker article outlining the other characteristics (race, age, and participation in a union, to name a few) on which an internal report found disparities in employee reviews, we expect this hearing to be lively and well-attended.
The second hearing, entitled “Legislative Proposals to Improve Transparency and Accountability at the CFPB” will examine bills and discussion drafts that are designed to promote greater transparency and accountability at the CFPB. Andrew Pincus, a partner at Mayer Brown, Hester Peirce, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Rob Chapman, President of the American Land Title Association are expected to testify. The hearing will cover the following bills and discussion drafts:
- H.R. 3389, the CFPB Slush Fund Elimination Act of 2013
- H.R. 3770, the CFPB-IG Act of 2013
- H.R. 4262, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act
- H.R. 4383, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Board Act
- H.R. 4539, the Bureau Research Transparency Act
- H.R. 4604, the CFPB Data Collection Security Act
- H.R. 4662, the Bureau Advisory Opinion Act
- Discussion Draft of the “Bureau Arbitration Fairness Act”
- Discussion Draft of the “Bureau Guidance Transparency Act”
- Discussion Draft of the “Preventing Regulatory Abuse Act of 2014”
- Discussion Draft of the “Bureau Examination Fairness Act”
Committee members have reiterated the need for greater transparency at the CFPB in previous hearings, and we look forward to hearing an in-depth discussion of legislation aimed at this goal.