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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Ranking House members seek information from the CFPB

Federal Issues CFPB U.S. House Administrative Procedure Act House Financial Services Committee

Federal Issues

On September 20, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra asking him to provide information to Congress regarding the authorities delegated to the Bureau that justify its current and upcoming regulatory actions. According to the letter, McHenry and Comer point to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia vs. EPA, which “invoked the ‘major questions doctrine’ to reject an attempt by the EPA to exceed its statutory authority.” The letter further explained that “[u]nder this doctrine, an agency must point to ‘clear congressional authorization for the authority it claims.’” The EPA could not identify such an authorization, according to McHenry and Comer, and the court further rejected the EPA’s attempt to exceed its statutory authority. The letter stated that “clear delegation of authority contemplated by the Court is not limited to just rulemaking but extends to other agency actions.” McHenry and Comer proceeded to list director-driven “initiatives” that they claim, “circumvent not only Congressional intent, but the Administrative Procedure Act.” They further requested that the Bureau provide a list of all actions that CFPB intends to take during the remainder of 2022, and “[a] list of all expected actions, including but not limited to major rulemaking, staff guidance, advisory opinions, interpretive rules, and the specific Congressional authority for each rulemaking,” by September 30. McHenry and Comer concluded the letter by noting that both committees intend to exercise “robust investigative and legislative powers,” and seek to assert Congress’ Article I responsibilities to ensure that neither the director nor the Biden administration “continue to exceed Congressional authorizations.”