Operation Choke Point and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Overview / recap articles:
Set Up Unconstitutional CFPB to Launder Money for Liberal Causes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
This is another little liberal enclave that was established by liberal Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, that was set up
as an agency that was unaccountable to anyone. It even had a budget that was unaccountable to the U.S. budget. Barney
Frank and Chris Dodd set this thing up and Elizabeth Warren was the real driver of this particular organization, the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau.
Court to hear case over constitutionality of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Supreme Court will hear
arguments on Tuesday in a case over whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the regulatory agency established in
the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, is constitutionally structured. The case, key to the future of the CFPB, could
also have broad implications on other independent federal agencies, according to experts. A decision is expected by the
end of June. The dispute turns on whether the CFPB's director is given too much independence. Under the 2010
Dodd-Frank Act, which established the regulator, the agency is headed by a single director who may be removed by the
president from his or her five-year term only for "inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office."
and Warren obviously need a history lesson. The rich, immoral, corrupt Elizabeth Warren committed fraud at
Harvard by pretending she was a minority, to enrich herself and increase her power — and now she lectures about
corruption. What would happen if white students claimed to be minorities to game the system the way Warren did?
That is fraud, pure and simple. The corrupt, immoral Warren and others sought to destroy Brett Kavanaugh even though
they had no actual evidence. How many individuals and families are Democrats willing to destroy to protect the power
they have amassed? Journalists gladly participate in this intentional, fraudulent persecution. Warren was the
brain behind the fiefdom of CFPB that is answerable to no one. This corrupt fiefdom blackmailed companies and set up a
slush fund for political purposes and to pay kickbacks to left-wing supporters. Democrats love slush funds because they
are hidden from the public.
Documents Reveal How Obama Unjustly Targeted Payday Lenders. New federal documents shine the light on how the
Obama administration unjustly targeted the payday loan industry. Through a sketchy initiative called Operation Choke
Point, unelected bureaucrats stretched the law in an attempt to keep potential borrowers from accessing funds.
Obama FDIC Struggled With Legal Basis For Operation Choke Point. The never-before-seen document release
happened as a result of a summary judgment from a lawsuit filed more than four years ago spearheaded by payday lender Advance
America and other industry allies against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency (OCC) and other federal regulators. The effort was known as Operation Choke Point, where Obama administration
regulators tried to limit access to banking services for businesses it considered "high-risk," like payday lenders.
Emails show that FDIC administration officials struggled to figure out how to explain to banks why their institutions should
be terminating their relationships with businesses that have not committed any fraud or other illegal activities.
Was A Train Wreck Under Obama And It's No Better Now. Remember when Elizabeth Warren was reminding everyone how
important her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was and how it was going to be turned into a tool
of big business under President Trump? Wishful thinking at best, but closing in on two years under this administration,
a Wall Street Journal analysis reveals that the bureau is still mostly up to their old tricks. In fact, to hear their
description of it, you'd think Senator Warren would be proud. Of course, the real problem which isn't being addressed
is that the "work" being done there is frequently more destructive than constructive.
the CFPB has become one of Washington's biggest battlegrounds. The Dodd-Frank Act, the landmark law that
rewrote the rules for the financial industry, gave the CFPB director unilateral authority to set fines and enforce a broad
range of laws governing mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other consumer financial products. The agency says
it has returned $12 billion to consumers. Cordray, a former attorney general of Ohio, has been the CFPB's first and
only chief since its inception. Republicans fought for about two years to keep Cordray from being confirmed by the
Senate as director. GOP lawmakers have railed against the tough regulations for financial companies that the CFPB has
imposed. They also object that the CFPB is not subject to the congressional appropriations process, but is funded by
the Fed. That was done by design by the Democrats so future Congresses wouldn't have leverage to rein in the
agency. Republicans say that makes the consumer agency unaccountable.
Financial Control Scheme Returns To Bite Its Creator. The CFPB was created to establish power and control over
almost every financial transaction in the United States. But it is only when you review how Elizabeth Warren and the
control agents structured the czar head of the CFPB that you recognize the scale of the intent carried within the
construct. When Senator Elizabeth Warren and crew set up the Director of the CFPB, in the aftermath of the Dodd-Frank
Act, they made it so that the appointed director can only be fired for cause by the President. This design was so the
Director could operate outside the control of congress and outside the control of the White House. In essence the CFPB
director position was created to work above the reach of any oversight; almost like a tenured position no-one could ever
remove. The position was intentionally put together so that he/she would be untouchable, and the ideologue occupying
the position would work on the goals of the CFPB without any oversight. Elizabeth Warren herself wanted to be the
appointed director; however, the reality of her never passing senate confirmation made her drop out.
Warren's CFPB: This Is Progress? The American Arbitration Association was established nearly a century ago in 1926 to
provide such arbitration services, under well-established rules of due process. Today, more disputes are settled through such
private dispute resolution services than through all the federal and state courts combined. But progressives are certain they
know better. Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a ruling barring contractual, mandatory
arbitration clauses for class action lawsuits. That means parties to a contract can no longer agree to arbitration for such
suits. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was the intellectual godmother of the CFPB, established in the Dodd-Frank
legislation of 2010. She carefully designed it so that it constitutes a thorough violation of the Constitution's separation
of powers doctrine, not answerable to the president, the Congress, or even another so-called independent agency.
Trump targets a monster. President Trump has slammed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a "total
disaster" and rightly objects to a second leftist taking the place of outgoing leftwing director Richard Cordray. His
battle is just the tip of the iceberg surrounding this federal agency that shouldn't even be there in the first place.
What Trump is battling is an unaccountable agency run by the Democrats and for the Democrats with the aim of funding more
Democrats. It's a shakedown racket targeting banks and other moneybags businesses based solely on the size of their
assets to harvest from fines. It was never about protecting consumers. It was never about oversight. It
just amounted to a slush fund for Democrats that as set up cannot be reformed.
Timely news and commentary:
Administration Prepares Way For Banks To Refuse Service To Democrats' Enemies. Amongst the record-breaking
number of executive actions taken by President Joe Biden was one related to a little-known, frightening Obama-era program
called Operation Choke Point. The program, dubbed so under former Attorney General Eric Holder, uses the power of the
federal government to target legal yet leftist-disfavored businesses. These include gun sellers, pawnshops, and
short-term money lenders. The Trump administration did its best to end this blatantly unconstitutional program that
sought to discriminate against legal industries. In 2017, the Justice Department declared the program "formally over."
At the end of Trump's term, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency established the Fair Access rule to solidify its
culmination. But on Jan. 28, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under President Biden announced it would
pause the Trump-era rule intended to prevent another Operation Choke Point from happening again.
English, Who Pretended to Run CFPB, Leads Biden CFPB Transition. Leandra English, who spent months trying to
seize control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from President Donald Trump, will lead Joe Biden's
transition team for the agency, the Biden campaign announced Tuesday. English will be in charge of a team of seven
others, including the legislative director for the United Autoworkers and six alums of the Obama-era CFPB. The group will
advise the Biden campaign on taking over the agency when Biden assumes office in January. English rose to public
attention in 2017, when she claimed the role of acting CFPB director following the departure of Obama-era director Richard
Cordray, in direct contention with Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney.
Need a New Base Realignment and Closure Commission — Not a New Bureaucracy. In times of crisis like
the one we are now going through, calls to grow an already bloated bureaucracy abound. Whether it's through more
centralization, more powers to the federal government, or the creation of new bureaucracy to address the pandemic, the hope
is that next time around, a new arrangement will allow for a better and faster response. Not likely. Yet, it
happens each time there's a crisis. [...] Similar growth in government occurred after the Great Recession. For
instance, the federal government created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Financial Stability Oversight Council,
the Federal Insurance Office, and many other bureaucracies and programs meant to prevent the next financial crisis.
Uncle Sam also accumulated more control over the extension of credit, both mortgage and personal.
blow to Elizabeth Warren? Supreme Court eyes the legality of her CFPB. The Supreme Court this week
questioned the legality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, specifically whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren's
brainchild, created during the Obama administration, can be led by a single director unaccountable to the president.
"Congress has always established these as multimember commissions or agencies," Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh said about
independent agencies during oral arguments. "It's really the next president who's going to face the issue, because the
head of this agency will go at least three or four years into the next president's term, and the next president might have a
completely different conception of consumer financial regulatory issues, yet will be able to do nothing about it," he added.
Kill Amendment Protecting Americans from Credit Discrimination Based on Politics, Religion. Democrats in the
House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against an amendment to a proposed bill that would prevent the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB) from forcing credit reporting agencies to evaluate Americans based on political opinions or
religious beliefs. Without such an amendment, Republicans warn, the powerful CFPB would have the legal authority to
make nearly any criteria mandatory for a private credit evaluation company to take into consideration, paving the way for a
system in which the federal government has the power to assign numerical scores to individuals based on their loyalty to a certain
political party, membership in civil society groups that the government approves or disapproves of, or other private behaviors.
Supreme Court Is Poised to Strike Down a Major Obama-Era Agency. Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear
what could end up being the most consequential case of the term — in a year where the justices are already taking
up employment discrimination, the Second Amendment, abortion, DACA, school choice, and other issues of higher political
salience. In Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Court will decide the constitutionality
of an agency long criticized not just by the business community and free-market-oriented politicians but also by constitutional
scholars who see major problems with its structure as a single-director agency seemingly unaccountable to the president or anyone else.
Court to decide whether Obama-era Wall Street cop is legal. The Supreme Court said Friday it will hear a case
challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency President Barack Obama and
Sen. Elizabeth Warren set up to police Wall Street in the wake of the Great Recession. The case is a major test
of Congress' powers and the expanding regulatory state. At issue is whether the CFPB, an "independent" agency that vests
its powers in a single chief who gets funding outside the usual appropriations process and is shielded from being fired by the
president, is too powerful to survive scrutiny.
Court to weigh constitutionality of financial watchdog agency created by Elizabeth Warren. The Supreme Court
has agreed to take up a dispute over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a case that could
dramatically scale back the agency's authority to police financial markets or eliminate it altogether. The court said
Friday [10/18/2019] it will hear a challenge from a California-based law firm that argues the CFPB, the brainchild of
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is unconstitutionally structured. Opponents of the CFPB, created
in 2010, argue that its structure violates the separation of powers, as Congress gave it broad authority to regulate
mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer products, and is helmed by a single director who can't be removed by the
president except for cause.
Decides that the CFPB Is Unconstitutional. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began investigating the
Seila Law for potential violations of federal telemarketing regulations. Seila Law was not cooperative, however.
When the CFPB issued a civil investigative demand (CID) for relevant documents, Seila failed to comply. [...] Today
[9/17/2019], the Department of Justice filed its response on behalf of the CFPB, and it was not the typical brief in
opposition. Rather than argue against granting the petition, DOJ endorsed Seila's call for certiorari, and noted that
the CFPB itself now accepts the argument (which DOJ had previously endorsed) that the CFPB, as structured, is
unconstitutional. Specifically, DOJ and CFPB accept the argument that the prohibition on removal of the CFPB's Director
absent cause is unconstitutional.
Obama-Era Move at CFPB Now Threatens Credit Markets. As college graduates have their commencement celebrations,
they certainly hope their hard work will pay off. After all, in the booming Trump economy and with record low
unemployment, there are countless opportunities for entrepreneurship and success. Sadly, there is one reason why those
dreams may never get off the ground: crushing school debt. As too many students and parents are painfully aware, there
are more than 44 million borrowers in America who collectively owe $1.5 trillion. Because of these obligations, young
adults are putting off essential milestones in life — such as buying a home and getting married — while
not accumulating savings. They have been saddled with debt by a higher education industrial complex thanks to the
assistance of the federal government. Now, thanks to some Obama administration decisions, the problem might become even
Worked With Exposed Antifa Leader on Payday Loan Rule. The previous leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau worked closely on its payday lending rule with a top official at a liberal advocacy group who was secretly working double-time
as a violent Antifa leader. Records show that former CFPB director Richard Cordray had multiple meetings with Jose Alcoff, the
top liaison to the CFPB on the issue of payday lending for liberal advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform. The meetings
between Cordray and Alcoff occurred in 2016 and 2017, before the Daily Caller exposed last December that he had been using
alternate identities to promote radical economic theories and participate in movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Antifa.
The investigation ultimately led to Alcoff's arrest for his involvement in a racially charged January assault by Antifa on two
Marines in Philadelphia.
Unsealed Documents Show Top FDIC Officials Running Operation Choke Point. Last week brought new revelations
regarding Operation Choke Point, the Obama administration's effort to freeze politically disfavored businesses out of the
financial system. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), who helped lead a multi-year effort to shut the program down,
highlighted some of theses newest findings and pointed out that stopping Operation Choke Point is not a partisan issue.
Operation Choke Point finally unmasked. James Madison once wrote that "the rights of persons, and the rights of
property, are the objects, for the protection of which government was instituted." While in recent years our political
leaders have not always lived up to Madison's vision of government, rarely have they engaged in such blatant disregard for
our constitutional rights as they did during Operation Choke Point — a secret program launched under the Obama
administration to punish political adversaries. Operation Choke Point was a plot by President Obama's Department of
Justice, the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other government agencies to
cut off banking and financial services for small businesses and industries that they deemed to be political enemies or
otherwise undesirable. Some of these businesses included gun stores, ammunition shops, fireworks stores, small dollar
lenders, and home-based charities.
student loan official at consumer agency quits over Trump policies. The top official overseeing student loans
at the CFPB resigned on Monday over Trump administration policies that he said were harming students and families. Seth
Frotman, the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a letter to acting Director Mick
Mulvaney that political leadership at the consumer bureau over the past 10 months had repeatedly undermined efforts by
career employees to take action against abuses by student loan companies and for-profit colleges.
Weaponize Corporations to Kill the Constitution. President Barack Obama [...] implemented "Operation Choke
Point," threatening banks that did not deny services to a variety of businesses, including ammunition and firearms
sellers. "Operation Choke Point," we wrote, "requires banks to impose government policy in ways that may be
ideological, unethical or even illegal against people and legal businesses that have been convicted of no crime whatsoever.
... The Obama Administration has made no secret of its aim to further restrict private gun ownership. ..." The Obama
Administration ordered banks to keep a close eye on firearms and ammunition sellers, to share their financial information
with the government, and "to shut down their accounts and access to credit, loans, and other financial services at the first
hint of any vaguely suspicious activity."
Still Not Tired of
All the Winning at CFPB. Indeed, when CFPB Director Richard Cordray resigned in November 2017, the Left claimed
he, not President Donald Trump, had the authority to appoint his successor. According to them, Deputy Director Leandra
English was Cordray's rightful heiress. So when the President appointed Mick Mulvaney to serve as interim director, the
Left freaked out and English sued for control of the Bureau. Mulvaney's tenure has been terrific. He has approached
the job with humility, recognizing the terrifying power of this agency must be checked against staff that understands they work
for the people, as Mulvaney articulated in a staff memo on his first day.
Dems Capitulate In Battle
Over CFPB. The shadow director of the controversial consumer finance bureau has resigned and plans to drop her
legal challenge against the agency, clearing the way for President Donald Trump's nominee to take the helm. Leandra
English, who was appointed acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by former director Richard Cordray
before he left in November, filed a lawsuit for the job when Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney, also the director of the Office
of Management and Budget, as interim chief.
English resigns from CFPB and drops her legal fight to be its acting director. Leandra English is dropping her
legal fight to temporarily lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and will step down as the agency's deputy director,
she and her attorney announced Friday [7/6/2018]. English said in a statement that she made the decision in light of
President Trump's nomination last month of Kathy Kraninger to be the CFPB's permanent director. English said she will
leave the bureau next week and told her bureau colleagues, "It has been an honor to work alongside you."
The Mulvaney Maneuver.
On June 18, President Trump nominated Kathy Kraninger to replace Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau. Few had heard of Kraninger, Mulvaney's deputy at the other agency he leads, the Office of Management
and Budget. Critics quickly declared that Kraninger's lack of consumer finance experience made her unfit to lead the
CFPB. Kraninger is certainly not the most qualified Republican the president might have chosen, since many of the
presumed candidates for the director's job were extraordinarily accomplished. Among the names floated over the last
year were those of the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration's board, the general counsel of Fannie Mae, the
chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and a professor recognized for expertise in consumer financial law.
Nevertheless, the Senate must decide only whether Kraninger is sufficiently qualified to lead the bureau.
court rules consumer bureau structure unconstitutional. Hundreds of Salesforce employees are putting pressure
on company leadership to reevaluate its contract with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) amid the increased focus on
President Trump's hardline immigration policies. Workers at the cloud computing company sent a letter to CEO Marc
Benioff, urging him to "re-examine" Salesforce's relationship with the CBP and to "speak out against its practices."
The workers said that they were particularly concerned about Salesforce tools aiding the agency's involvement in the
separation of children from families at the border.
Judge Rules CFPB's Structure Is Unconstitutional. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been a target of
conservatives. It's currently part of the larger war against Trump as some disgruntled staffers are reportedly using
encrypted devices to communicate with one another. They're known as "Dumbledore's Army." No, I'm not
kidding. It all stems from the leadership battle between Office of Budget and Management Mick Mulvaney and Deputy
Director Leandra English. English was set up to takeover upon the departure of former director Richard Cordray, who
left to run for governor of Ohio. Yet, since this is an agency within the executive Trump was well within his authority
to appoint Mulvaney as acting director. English filed a legal challenge to the appointment, but the courts finally
ruled that Mulvaney is to be top dog at the agency. It should come to no one's surprise that people were criticizing
the Mulvaney regime, especially on the agency's advisory board. Mulvaney recently decided to fire the whole board.
A Federal Judge Just Kill The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Elizabeth Warren's monster, the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has had a couple of close calls with extinction. In October 2016, a three-judge
panel of the DC Circuit ruled the structure unconstitutional for a very good reason: it is. The way it is
established it combines the authority to make what amounts to laws, enforce the laws, and adjudicate cases under those
laws. The agency is free from Congressional oversight and it doesn't even get its appropriation from Congress, it
simply draws from the Federal Reserve whatever sum it desires. In January 2018, the DC circuit sitting en banc
reversed the panel.
Mulvaney Fires Entire CFPB Advisory Board. It's an agency that you wouldn't think would be in the news much,
but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau became another front in the war against the Trump administration for the
Left. Now, acting director Mick Mulvaney has just fired the entire 25-member advisory board, which was starting to
criticize the front office. Last night, Mulvaney told its members that they were being replaced. You're fired, as
Trump would say. It's a purge, some late spring-cleaning but one that could bring this administration into conflict
with congressional Democrats.
Warren: If You Really Care About Consumers, Mick Mulvaney's Your Man. According to its name, the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exists to protect consumers. But according to the vision of its progenitor,
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB is a government-sanctioned bludgeon to be wielded against businesses and
industries at the whim of its director — whom she intended, like a latter-day Louis XIV, to be herself.
In Richard Cordray, the inaugural helmsman she handpicked after being slapped down (in relation to the latter ambition),
Ms. Warren had a partner just as dedicated as she to punishing profitability under the guise of consumer advocacy.
Late in 2017 Mr. Cordray departed the CFPB to inflict his enterprise-crushing philosophy on his home state of Ohio as
the Democratic candidate for governor.
rolls back Dodd-Frank regulations. Critics of Dodd-Frank have been working to roll back the regulations since
it passed in 2010. The law was put in place following the economic collapse of 2008 when big banks went belly up, markets
collapsed, and millions of homeowners fell into foreclosure and lost savings. The federal government stepped in fronting
trillions of dollars to stabilize the economy. Tuesday's vote is the first, in what many expect to be more, dismantling
the banking rule. "If you listened to the debate on the floor yesterday, Hensarling, who's head of the committee, actually
said we should get rid of Dodd-Frank. He literally said that Dodd-Frank was going to lead to a financial meltdown, which
is exactly the opposite," said Rep. Frank Pallone.
the Tyranny of the Agency. The tyranny of the administrative state is real and hard to tame. Americans
would be horrified if they knew how much power thousands of unelected bureaucrats employed by federal agencies wield.
These members of the "government within the government," as The New York Times' John Tierney describes them, produce
one freedom-restricting, economy-hindering rule after another without much oversight. These rules take many forms, and
few even realize they're in the making — until, that is, they hit you square in the face. Take the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau's rule that effectively banned car dealers from giving auto loan discounts to customers on the
claim that they might lead to racial discrimination (a dubious conclusion reached using flawed statistical models).
Dodd-Frank, the legislation that created the CFPB, prohibited it from regulating auto dealers — so the CFPB
quietly put out a "guidance" document to circumvent due process and congressional oversight. Thankfully, this time
around, someone noticed.
bureaucracy left our private data more vulnerable than ever. Without your knowledge or permission, the Obama
administration collected and warehoused your most private bank records and continued to sweep them up — despite
repeated warnings the data wasn't being properly protected. Now there's a good chance your personal information could
be in the hands of identity thieves or even terrorists. The government isn't sure who has your information. It
only knows the Obama-era databases have been breached by outsider threats potentially 1,000-plus times. That's
according to a recent investigation of cyber-intrusions at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where the sensitive
information is stored.
Unaccountable Agency. When Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's acting director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, appeared before Congress last week, he managed to illustrate the absurdity of the agency that he
heads. In questioning him, several Democrats disputed that Mulvaney even is the director, claiming that an Obama-era
appointee retains authority — and they may actually have a point. This squabbling may seem like
government-incompetence-as-usual, but in fact, the CFPB is working as intended — shielding elected officials from
the opposition of lobbyists who don't want sensible financial rules and from the wrath of consumers who, a decade after the
financial crisis, remain ill-served by an unbalanced financial system.
Mulvaney quietly changes the CFPB's name. From the time its doors opened in 2011, the agency was known as the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Usually, people just called it "the CFPB." Yet those terms, which adorn the
agency's headquarters, make up its website URL, and are used in its Twitter handle, aren't technically in the law that
created the bureau, the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law. And so Mulvaney changed them. Late last month, the agency
published a blog post announcing that it had devised a new seal for the agency. The seal is a neoclassical emblem
similar to other federal agencies', featuring an eagle and the name of the agency: The Bureau of Consumer Financial
Protection. That, Mulvaney explained during congressional testimony on Wednesday, "is the formal name of the
CFPB — the CFPB technically doesn't exist."
Mulvaney teaches Elizabeth Warren some constitutional law. After watching Mick Mulvaney spar with Sen. Elizabeth
Warren, D-Mass., in recent days, it's tempting to make the modest proposal that President Trump nominate Mulvaney for every
administration position that has to testify before Sens. Warren, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Chris Murphy,
D-Conn., or any of the other senators running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Mulvaney has earned Warren's
ire because he is the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was her brainchild. While she hasn't
backed down in their colorful exchanges, Mulvaney has been winning on points.
To Congress: Thanks To You, I Don't Have To Answer Any Of Your Questions — Ever. When Mick
Mulvaney served in the House, he tried to warn colleagues that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was too independent
of Congress. Now that he's running the CFPB, Mulvaney wants to demonstrate just how correct he was. For the
second straight day, the acting director has told a congressional panel that he can just sit in front of them all day and
ignore their questions, and there's nothing they can do about it.
Mulvaney says it's Elizabeth Warren's own fault he doesn't have to answer her questions. Acting Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau director Mick Mulvaney has told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that he doesn't plan on
responding to her questions about the agency, and said it's her fault that he is not required to answer. Mulvaney, a
conservative who was an outspoken critic of the bureau during his time as a congressman, told Warren in a letter sent
Wednesday that the structure of the agency, which she helped design, shields him from accountability. "I encourage you
to consider the possibility that the frustration you are experiencing now, and that which I had a few years back, are both
inevitable consequences of the fact that the Dodd-Frank... Act insulates the Bureau from virtually any accountability to the
American people through their elected representatives," Mulvaney wrote.
Mulvaney ignores Elizabeth Warren's questions, says it's her fault he doesn't have to answer. Acting Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau director Mick Mulvaney has told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that he doesn't plan on
responding to her questions about the agency, and said it's her fault that he is not required to answer. Mulvaney, a
conservative who was an outspoken critic of the bureau during his time as a congressman, told Warren in a letter sent
Wednesday that the structure of the agency, which she helped design, shields him from accountability.
Brings Law and Order to the CFPB. Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, is bringing responsibility and transparency to his agency — so of course he is under attack by
Democrats. The brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the CFPB purportedly exists to shield consumers from
fraud. In reality, Democrats created a powerful rogue agency that they could use to control and reward their political
friends. The agency was given largely unchecked enforcement authority and spent taxpayer money recklessly. Now
that Democrats have lost the keys to that castle, they are making baseless accusations that Mulvaney is acting lawlessly,
projecting onto him what they did to the agency. However, Mulvaney is trying to reform the CFPB into what its mission
actually is: to protect consumers.
cracks the whip on leftwing CFPB. One of the most out-of-control federal agencies, the zero-accountability,
zero-budget-constraints Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, is finally looking at efforts to rein it in, courtesy of the
Warren's Sad Sick Joke. If Elizabeth Warren's Wall Street Journal piece "Republicans Remain Silent as
Mulvaney's CFPB Ducks Oversight" had run three days later, readers would have thought it was an April Fools' Day joke about
the famously two-headed government agency. Most Americans had not heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
last Thanksgiving when its first director, Richard Cordray, resigned and proclaimed Warren acolyte Leandra English acting
director, prompting President Trump to appoint cabinet member Mick Mulvaney to the same post. Senator Warren has not
laughed much in the four months since a judge backed the president's choice.
Of Tyranny:' Mulvaney Asks Congress To Fix Liz Warren's Agency. President Donald Trump's administration is
urging Congress to reshape the Elizabeth Warren-crafted consumer finance agency before it can be used as a tool for
"tyranny." "The [Consumer Financial Protection] Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its
activities," CFPB acting director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement Monday [4/2/2018]. "The power wielded by the Director
of the Bureau could all too easily be used to harm consumers, destroy businesses, or arbitrarily remake American financial markets."
Mulvaney released a semi-annual report to Congress Monday, detailing the CFPB's work between April and September 2017, when Obama
appointee and current Ohio gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray led the bureau.
Repealing the worst of Dodd-Frank. After the housing bubble burst, Democrats found themselves in control of
Congress and the White House. So they crafted legislation they claimed would ensure this problem never happened
again. In passing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Democrats created a whole new set of
problems. By imposing a massive load of new regulations on banks, supposedly for the purpose of cracking down on risky
behavior by those "too big to fail," Congress made life much harder on small and mid-sized banks.
The House That Pocahantas Built.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exists to spend consumers' finances like drunken sailors who just found out they've
been drinking fermented AIDS. [...] Socialist Opulence is, like government, what we all do together. It's just
that only a certain Elect get to benefit from it.
An Exclusive Peek Into Elizabeth
Warren's Luxurious CFPB Headquarters. The first thing that stands out is that the office space does not feel
like a government building at all. It could be an upscale hotel, a college campus or a corporate headquarters.
"There was interest to move this above a Class C Building," said a CFPB source familiar with the renovation and the operation
of the building. "Now it's a Class A building," he told TheDCNF. The Building Owners and Managers Association
International, which represents owners and managers of all commercial office buildings, describe Class A buildings as "the
most coveted buildings in the marketplace." The $124 million spent to date for the 303,000 square foot office building
is $409 per square foot, more than Trump World Tower, which cost $334 per square foot or Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel and Casino,
priced at $330 per square foot.
Guts Its Top Edit Staff Amid Legal Turmoil. Newsweek on Monday [2/5/2018] fired all of its top staff amid
turmoil that has upended the newsroom. [...] Last week, BuzzFeed News reported that the company engaged in "fraudulent online
traffic practices" to help secure an online ad buy from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Rules Rogue CFPB Is Constitutional. On Wednesday [1/31/2018], the DC Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an
earlier three-judge panel ruling and declared that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional.
The CFPB is a creation of Democrats' Dodd-Frank financial regulation following the 2008 crisis that they also created.
Expressing the majority opinion Judge Cornelia Pillard wrote, "Congress's decision to provide the CFPB director a degree of
insulation reflects its permissible judgment that civil regulation of consumer financial protection should be kept one step
removed from political winds and presidential will." In the earlier court ruling Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that "other
than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government,
at least when measured in terms of unilateral power." Which was why there was such a fight for control of the CFPB
after previous director Richard Courdray stepped down.
Resist Movement in the Federal Government. The battle for power at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was pretty
entertaining. Trump had tapped Office of Management and Budget Office Director Mick Mulvaney to take over the responsibility of
CFPB director, but Leandra English defended what she believed was her rightful territory. English was the deputy director of the
agency who had been appointed as director by outgoing chief Richard Cordray. Trump didn't like that decision, so he took matters
into his own hands and said Mulvaney was his man. He had the authority to do so. English was so determined to retain
authority that she filed a lawsuit and emailed staffers with the title "acting director," essentially telling them to ignore
Mulvaney's directives. Her attempted coup ultimately failed, as a U.S. District Court judge in Washington sided with
Trump and allowed him to proceed with Mulvaney's appointment.
Obama Administration's Criminal Perversion of Government. A week after the election, groups inside and outside
the government, some calling themselves Obama Anonymous, had begun meeting to plan the "resistance" to Trump. Unlike
the angry protesters in the streets, this resistance wasn't a new organization. It consisted of Washington D.C.
government lifers. At the CFPB, there was a group calling itself Dumbledore's Army. Within the FBI and the DOJ,
there was a nameless "secret society". Its details are being derived from text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok,
a disgraced member of Mueller's team, and his mistress, Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Previous Strzok texts had spoken of taking out "insurance" against a Trump win. This was all the more significant since
Strzok had investigated Hillary and interviewed Flynn. He was a crucial figure in both the investigations of Hillary
Clinton and President Trump.
director a new hero on the right. The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),
former congressman Mick Mulvaney, has submitted a budget request that may be a first in the history of government. The
CFPB is an independent agency that receives its funding from the Federal Reserve. The director must submit a budget
request to the Fed every quarter. The most recent budget request came from former director Richard Cordray, an Obama
appointee. Cordray asked the Fed for $217 million. But Mulvaney shocked official Washington by making a budget
request for zero dollars. That's $0.00 in taxpayer funds.
consumers for zero dollars. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a Democratic Party creation
to put more limo libs on the federal budget — finally protecting consumers from a predator: itself[.] Mick
Mulvaney, the new director of the agency, just requested zero dollars from public money in his budget. [...] This is a sham
agency designed to shake down financial institutions to hand over money to tax-exempt liberals groups in order to avoid
trouble with the law.
CFPB Reform, Trump Can Make American Finance Great Again. The New York Times reports that a new push to change the CFPB would be the
"first major revision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama that has been deemed 'a disaster' by
President Trump." Whether it counts as an "accomplishment" is certainly open to question, but there's no doubt the CFPB has been a disaster,
especially for small and midsize banks and payday lenders, which together had absolutely nothing — zero — to do with the
financial crisis, yet have borne the brunt of the financial regulatory siege that the Obama administration dumped on the industry.
A New CFPB Scandal —
Cost Overruns for Its New Luxury Headquarters. Renovation costs for the brand new Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau headquarters have skyrocketed, posting 25 percent in cost overruns — significantly above the original
budget set by the General Services Administration, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation. Original
cost estimates for the CFPB's renovation were estimated at $55 million, but the bureau ran up the proposed cost to
$216 million. The Federal Reserve Inspector General rejected the proposal in 2014, saying there was no "sound basis"
for the figure. As the CFPB renovation costs continued to escalate, renovation was taken out of the CFPB's hands and
transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA's budget, however, was nearly twice the original
$55 million, hitting $99 million.
budget chief shuts down consumer protection bureau slush fund. An educational "slush fund" used by the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau has come under the "strictest review" by acting director Mick Mulvaney amid concerns the
Obama-era agency has been doling out cash only to Democratic cronies. Mulvaney, President Trump's budget chief who has
been temporarily installed at the agency the president once promised to kill, is reviewing all spending by the troubled
consumer watchdog created to protect Americans from big financial companies. "All of this is under strictest
review. While we get our arms around it, the director is personally approving any payment out of these funds to ensure
that they are going to actual victims," an official said. Mulvaney replaced former President Barack Obama's director,
Richard Cordray, who resigned in November.
Bureau Stirring That Unprotected Feeling. When the order from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hit Mike
Donovan's desk, he thought there must be some mistake. Donovan does not run a bank or a financial services firm.
His Virginia-based company, Nexus Services, specializes in securing bonds for detained immigrants. Nevertheless, the
CFPB issued Nexus a "civil investigative demand" (CID) for voluminous documents, including all of its client information.
Asserting its authority through the rationale that Nexus' bond services are a form of credit, the bureau did not allege any
specific wrongdoing in its demand, although it insinuated that Nexus may employ deceptive practices to land clients.
Civil investigative demands are routinely issued by government regulators, but the bureau's request struck Donovan as a
fishing expedition far afield from the traditional financial services outfits on which the CFPB presumably focused.
New CFPB Scandal — Cost Overruns for It's [sic] New Lux Headquarters. Renovation costs for the brand
new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters have skyrocketed, posting 25 percent in cost overruns —
significantly above the original budget set by the General Services Administration, according to a Daily Caller News
Foundation investigation. Original cost estimates for the CFPB's renovation were estimated at $55 million, but the
bureau ran up the proposed cost to $216 million. The Federal Reserve Inspector General rejected the proposal in
2014, saying there was no "sound basis" for the figure. As the CFPB renovation costs continued to escalate, renovation was
taken out of the CFPB's hands and transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA's budget, however, was nearly
twice the original $55 million, hitting $99 million.
The Editor says...
Please note that the government is spending millions to refurbish the headquarters of an agency that shouldn't even exist.
Trump Evicted Elizabeth Warren from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans' first victory of
2018 will likely be Judge Timothy J. Kelly's denial of the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction in English
v. Trump following a hearing on the Friday before Christmas. The case began over Thanksgiving weekend when
Richard Cordray, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's first director, promoted his chief of staff Leandra English to
deputy director. The soon-to-be Ohio gubernatorial candidate then announced his resignation would take effect at the
end of the day and declared English acting director until the Senate confirmed a new one. Two hours later, President
Trump ignored Cordray's self-serving misinterpretation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and appointed Mick Mulvaney acting
director. Front-page headlines proclaimed a federal agency with two heads, one suing the president to remove the other.
Says CFPB Falsified Documents to Fine Payday Lender. A former employee of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau is calling for an investigation after accusing managers of falsifying documents to impose fines on a payday
lender. Cassandra Jackson, a former CFPB examiner in the southeast division, sent a letter last week to Attorney
General Jeff Sessions also accusing managers of "widespread racism and gender discrimination." Jackson said her superiors
at the CFPB asked her to falsify documents during her investigation into a Texas-based payday lending company, Ace Cash
Express. "During the course of this examination, I was asked to change, remove, and otherwise falsify documents
connected with this examination," Jackson said. Jackson said she was asked to remove document evidence proving Ace Cash
Express was complying with CFPB rules and to write a report including findings she knew to be "false and fabricated."
The Deep State Attempting A Coup? President Trump has been in office for nearly a year, and has yet to take
control over the federal bureaucracy that nominally reports to him. I agree with Professor Barnett that this is a
constitutional crisis. The most powerful branch of today's government is the Fourth: the permanent federal bureaucracy
that is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. The Trump administration can best be viewed, perhaps, as a struggle to
the death between American voters and the federal employees who are paid to serve them.
New Leadership Anxious CFPB Workers Begin Communicating in Coded Messages. A rather interesting New York Times
article describes life in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) now that interim Director Mick Mulvaney is leading
the agency. Actually, one of the more interesting aspects is how congressional defenders of the CFPB have claimed the
workforce is non-partisan, yet for some mysterious reason the mostly Millenials are described as using coded messaging.
Is How You Got Trump: "Dumbledore's Army" Running Secret CFPB Ops. The New York Times offers this report
on the operation of Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) under the command of interim director Mick Mulvaney, with the
clear intention to sound the alarm on the bureau's sharp change in direction. Buried deep in the article, however, is
the real news — that a group of bureaucrats have decided to hijack the CFPB as much as possible and operate in
secret to defy Mulvaney. [... Richard] Cordray resigned before that question got fully resolved and tried setting up his
chief of staff as his successor in order to maintain a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. "Dumbledore's Army" is attempting
the exact same thing — the creation of unelected bureaucrats as their own authority, without any accountability to
voters or the people they elect to govern. It's a palace revolt by self-important functionaries and, based on their
choice of appellation, callow functionaries suffering from cases of arrested adolescence as well.
You No Sense of Decency, Senator Warren? This year's strangest political story may be Elizabeth Warren's
attempted coup of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. On
the Friday after Thanksgiving, Richard Cordray, the CFPB's outgoing director, attempted a variation of the play football
teams use when going for touchdowns during game-ending kickoff returns. Cordray announced he was resigning at the end
of the day on November 24, and he promoted his chief of staff, Leandra English, to deputy director. Citing a Dodd-Frank
Act provision, "the Deputy Director ... shall serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director," he
claimed his lateral pass to English made her the CFPB's acting director before President Trump could use the Federal
Vacancies Reform Act to appoint his own.
settling lawsuits challenging its existence, CFPB can begin to quietly turn off the lights. The political stunt
that former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray tried to pull recently in a failed attempt
to name his successor was the culmination of a five-year reign at a rogue agency marked by incompetence and malfeasance.
I and many other CFPB critics believe that newly appointing Acting Director Mick Mulvaney — who retains his job as
director of the Office of Management and Budget — is the right person, in the interim, to head the CFBP.
However, the only way we are going to completely undo the years of pain and punishment the CFPB has inflected on consumers,
businesses and our economy is to simply shut the place down.
CFPB Collects Fines From Banks And Gives To
Left-Wing Activist Groups. Holman Jenkins had an excellent editorial at the Wall Street Journal on
Wednesday [11/29/2017] with a timely reminder of the several ways in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created
by Dodd-Frank in 2010, is basically a rogue agency in the U.S. federal government. The reminder is timely, of course,
because of the attempt by the CFPB's departing director, Richard Cordray, to outmaneuver the president and prevent him from
gaining inuence over the Bureau's operations by installing the new chief. Jenkins calls this, effectively, a coup attempt
(his word). And he's not wrong.
Trump knows about 'Pocahontas' and the CFPB. I admit, I laughed out loud when I read that President Trump had
called out Pocahontas, aka Senator Elizabeth Warren, in the midst of his celebration of Navajo Code Talkers. It was
just so outrageous, so Trumpian and unprovoked. It looked like the president ran dry of things to say about the Native
American World War II heroes, so inserted his little joke before lauding them for their bravery and service. The
allusion to liberal firebrand Warren appeared to have sailed over the veterans' heads; the same could not be said of the
liberal press. I laughed in part because out of nowhere — yet another hum-drum White House ceremony —
Trump had again set the world on fire, and in part because I could predict with 100 percent certainty what was about to
rain down upon his totally welcoming head.
CFPB Coup Attempt Is Over, Court Rules In Favor Of Trump Administration. [Others] have written about the drama
unfolding at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There's been a fight over who is actually in charge.
Leandra English, the deputy director of the agency, and Mick Mulvaney, the head of Office of Management and Budget Office,
both are caught in a duel with one another. English says she's acting director, while Mulvaney is emailing staffers at
the CFPB, telling them to ignore her directives. A lawsuit has been filed, but Guy mentioned that this is nothing but a
would-be coup by English, who should be fired for insubordination. Richard Cordray, the former head, resigned earlier
this month. He's expected to run for governor in Ohio.
Bureau execs, workers gave 593 donations to Democrats, 1 to GOP. The Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau under fire by the Trump administration has been a Democratic Party donor bank, its bureaucrats writing checks to
liberals at a rate of 593 to one Republican. Research of donor records on the OpenSecrets website maintained by the
Center for Responsive Politics revealed that Hillary Rodham Clinton was the dominant recipient of tens of thousands of
dollars from CFPB workers, followed by President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had a huge role in creating the
agency. A quick count of donations found: • $46,611 to Hillary Rodham Clinton. •
$13,190 to Sen Elizabeth Warren. • $19,988 to President Obama. • $10,075
to Democratic campaign committees. • $1,129 to Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau. A U.S. District Court judge in Washington on Tuesday [11/28/2017] said the
administration had the right to install White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau. Judge Timothy Kelly denied a request by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English, who also claims to hold
the top job, to block Mulvaney from taking the post. Her lawyer said the case isn't over. For now, the ruling puts
a halt to a chaotic series of events set in motion Friday, when former CFPB Director Richard Cordray abruptly resigned.
It also moves the White House a step closer to curbing the power of the independent agency, which since its inception has
bedeviled banks, credit card issuers, and other financial companies. In the process it has cheered wronged consumers,
collecting $12 billion in penalties and recoveries on their behalf.
Fire Leandra English.
Has no one in the press read the Constitution? "Article II, Section 1, 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a
President of the United States of America." That means President Trump could fire James Comey as FBI director without any
explanation. It also means Leandra English was never acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and
her attempted coup de bureaucracy should result in the end of her employment. There is no such thing as an "independent
agency" in the federal government.
Leandra English Is A Pupil of Elizabeth Warren. Leandra English, the new acting director of the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau appointed by outgoing director Richard Cordray over the Thanksgiving weekend, has filled a key
role during many of the crises that have gripped the six-year agency, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation
investigation. English was a key aide during the agency's first, formative year in office, and she helped set up
the agency with now-Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as part of the Department of the Treasury's "implementation team"
that formed the bureau.
you need to know about Mick Mulvaney, Leandra English, and the battle for control of the CFPB. Mick Mulvaney
marched into the D.C. headquarters of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Monday morning [11/27/2017] with Dunkin'
Donuts. Office of Management and Budget Director Mulvaney, thanks to a sudden resignation and a subsequently speedy
administration appointment, has now become Acting CFPB Director. The only problem? The outgoing director
appointed his chief-of-staff, Leandra English, as successor, thereby setting up a confusing and controversial power
vacuum. Bureaucrats and regulators started their work week not knowing who was in charge of the agency. Suddenly,
bringing donuts to work didn't seem like such a bad idea.
Draining The CFPB Swamp, Trump Finds Monsters. After Consumer Finance Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray
submitted his resignation, President Trump picked a suitable temporary director to replace him: Mick Mulvaney, the
current director of the Office of Management and Budget. The swamp didn't like it. It turns out that Cordray,
quite illegally, on his way out named his deputy, Leandra English, as the temporary director. When Mulvaney arrived at
work Monday morning, he was forced to issue a memo saying "Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English
in her presumed capacity as acting director." He was being polite. This was nothing more than an attempt at a
bureaucratic coup d'etat, or "resistance" in the popular phrase of the far left.
CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney Holds Brilliant Press Conference. The CFPB is the product of far-left progressives,
specifically Elizabeth Warren, initially setting up a financial control agency that operates without congressional
oversight. The Bureau construct was challenged in court and ruled 'unconstitutional'. That's the backdrop
for this press conference today [11/27/2017] with Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. [Video clip]
Mulvaney Goes To Work at CFPB — Leandra English Goes To Meeting W/ Senator Warren and Schumer.
Everything you need to know to understand the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau back-story is contrast against Mick
Mulvaney and Leandra English today. Director Mulvaney goes to the CFPB office to review the CFPB transition guidance,
while Leandra English runs to a meeting on capital hill with Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Mr. Mulvaney is focused on the job and tasks at hand. Ms. English is focused on the internal politics
in the Right in CFPB Tiff. Some legal questions are tough. The question of who should lawfully be
considered the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not one of them. President Trump
unquestionably has the power to name Mick Mulvaney (his Senate-confirmed budget director) to the position, and he has done
so. The lawsuit seeking to block this appointment, filed by the CFPB's deputy director Leandra English — who
hopes to take the job herself — is frivolous and offensive. The CFPB is an unconstitutional monstrosity that
ought to be abolished. Indeed, the current tiff is but a symptom of the underlying disease: The political
progressives who created the CFPB sought to make it an "independent" agency, beyond political accountability and inter-branch
checks and balances. It would be a boon if the dust-up over the acting leadership of the agency would spur a case that
could invalidate the entire enterprise. That is unlikely, though, so let's stick to the narrow, easy question before us.
controls the CFPB: Obama appointees or the Constitution? Just how messed up is our system of governance?
We now have a made-up but all too real fourth branch of government suing the Trump administration to obtain power it doesn't
have. And of course, as always, the final arbiter of this decision will be what was supposed to be the weakest branch
of government in comparison to Congress and the executive branch: the courts. While Richard Cordray should have
been fired on day one of this administration as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), thankfully, he
decided to step down. Unfortunately, Cordray left us with a parting gift as he shut down his office computer on
Friday. He defied Trump's order to install Mick Mulvaney, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB), as acting director of the CFPB and instead ordered his deputy, Leandra English, to be the acting director. Now,
English has filed a motion with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia for a temporary restraining order against
Mulvaney serving as acting director.
Cordray Delivers the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Punchline. On November 24, 2017, Richard Cordray
resigned as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. His final year in office, and especially his exit,
revealed the true nature of the agency Democrats created through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Ambitious, cerebral, and
socially awkward, Cordray had alternated between stints as an accomplished lawyer and a mediocre politician before he lost
Ohio's attorney-general election in 2010 and Elizabeth Warren, then a presidential assistant, hired him to lead the nascent
bureau's enforcement division. The following July, President Obama bypassed Warren and instead nominated Cordray to be
the CFPB's first director. In the marathon standoff that ensued, Republican senators filibustered the nomination, Obama
installed Cordray by using an unconstitutional recess appointment, Democrats threatened to change the filibuster rules, and
Republicans surrendered. On July 16, 2013, the Senate confirmed the temporary director to a five-year term.
cracks down on CFPB as White House insists he's in control. White House budget boss Mick Mulvaney moved quickly
Monday to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, imposing a 30-day hiring freeze and other new rules as the fight
over who's really in charge of the agency heads to court. Mulvaney, whom President Trump chose to run the CFPB on a
temporary basis, has a history of bashing the bureau and has called it a "sad, sick" joke. He didn't back away from
those assertions Monday afternoon, describing the CFPB as "an awful example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong and is
almost entirely unaccountable." Mulvaney said he was surprised at the unchecked powers afforded to the bureau —
Democrats are to blame for consumer agency debacle. President Donald Trump is likely to control the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau for years to come. And Democrats have only themselves to blame. Trump Budget Director
Mick Mulvaney and Leandra English, a legacy employee of the Obama presidency, faced off on Monday [11/27/2017] over which of
them has the authority to lead the bureau amid dueling statutes after CFPB Director Richard Cordray abruptly stepped down on
Friday. Mulvaney and English showed up for work and started directing employees, both attempting to use the
wide-ranging power that Democrats granted the director when the agency was created in 2010. The matter ended up
in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge and Trump appointee Timothy Kelly late Monday, with English contesting Mulvaney's
right to start running the agency.
and chaos engulf consumer agency. Two acting directors of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showed up
for work Monday [11/27/2017], trading memos and warnings as a political showdown threw the embattled agency into
confusion. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's choice to temporarily lead the bureau,
arrived at about 7:30 a.m. and settled into the CFPB director's office, where he read briefing books. His challenger
for the job, CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English, was also in the building. English, former Director Richard Cordray's
handpicked replacement, sent the staff an emailed greeting shortly before 8 a.m. and signed it with the bureau's top title,
acting director. Mulvaney quickly fired back with a memo instructing staff to ignore any instructions from English.
Is To Blame For The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Chaotic Succession? The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau is currently in disarray after its director, Richard Cordray, stepped down in order to (probably) begin a
run for governor of Ohio. In response, President Donald Trump picked Mick Mulvaney as the "Acting Director," which has
thrown the agency and the Democrats into a frothing mass of anger. The agency, created by the law commonly known as
Dodd-Frank, was originally set up to "protect" the financial interests of American consumers after the financial crisis of
the late Bush/early Obama era. The problem, as evidence suggests, is that small banks, and therefore the more suburban
and rural American, were negatively impacted by the bill, which ultimately helped prop up big banks. Well, the deputy
director of the CFPB, Leandra English, has filed suit to stop Trump's pick from being seated.
entrenched Left defends its turf at CFPB. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is on the war path.
Sunday night, the CFPB's deputy director, Leandra English, filed a lawsuit against President Trump for seeking to replace her
with his own candidate. In her mind, that position is hers, like some sort of owned property, and she isn't about to be
dislodged. It goes to show the tremendous problem President Trump will have in clearing the swamp. The CFPB
situation is a bit worse than other cases of Obama holdovers unwilling to leave their posts.
the CFPB, two acting directors show up to take command; one brings doughnuts, the other well-wishes. As a
Republican congressman, Mick Mulvaney called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a "joke" and said he wished it didn't
exist. On Monday, Mulvaney showed up at the agency's D.C. offices with a bag of doughnuts and a new title: boss.
But after a frantic weekend of political and legal posturing, Mulvaney's arrival represented a new escalation of tensions
over who ultimately will lead the agency. A day earlier, Leandra English filed suit claiming she is the "rightful
not Cordray pick, will lead US consumer financial watchdog agency. A top Senate Republican argued this weekend
that President Trump's interim pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not the outgoing director's choice, will
be in charge Monday morning amid a growing partisan standoff over the controversial agency. Agency Director Richard
Cordray, in resigning Friday, effectively made Chief of Staff Leandra English acting director. That set up a fight with the
Trump White House, which later Friday named Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim director.
CFPB Crisis and the Civil War Between the State and the People. The bureaucracy already runs much of the
government. It wields more power than elected officials. Yet it does so, in theory, at the behest of elected
officials. The battle over who heads the CFPB pushes that theory out the window. If Richard Cordray is able to
overrule the President of the United States and appoint a successor of his own choosing, then we take one step closer to
abandoning rule by the people and replacing it with the rule of the bureaucracy[.] That is what is at stake here.
And it's bigger than the CFPB.
Trump, Liz Warren in battle over head of agency. A dispute over who should head a federal consumer protection
office has pitted President Trump against Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who's determined to fight for the office
she helped create in the wake of the financial crisis. "I fought my heart out to build this little agency —
and I'll be damned if we let Donald Trump, Steve Mnuchin, and Mick Mulvaney destroy it without a fight," Warren said in a
fundraising email yesterday [11/26/2017], supporting the outgoing director's choice for an interim leader.
of Legal Counsel Determination on Presidential Authority to Appoint Director of CFPB. The Director of the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, has resigned. Senator Elizabeth Warren does not want President
Trump to appoint an interim replacement. President Trump has announced OMB Director Mick Mulvaney will be the "acting"
head of the agency until he nominates a permanent replacement for senate confirmation. Senator Warren wants to take
President Trump to court to stop him filling the interim position.
challenges Trump's pick for consumer financial bureau. President Donald Trump's appointment of his budget
director as interim director of a consumer financial protection agency championed by Democrats was challenged in a lawsuit
filed in federal court Sunday night [11/26/2017]. Leandra English, the federal official elevated to the position of interim
director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by its outgoing director, filed the suit against Trump and his choice,
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.
taps Mulvaney to head CFPB, sparking confusion over agency's leadership. President Donald Trump on Friday [11/24/2017]
named White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, setting up a
legal clash over who is in charge of the controversial agency. The announcement came just hours after outgoing CFPB
Director Richard Cordray appointed the agency's chief of staff, Leandra English, as deputy director, establishing her as his
successor as he steps down today. The two moves plunged the agency into confusion over the leadership of the bureau,
which was established in the wake of the financial crisis and has become a lightning rod for attacks by Republicans and
business executives for its aggressive enforcement.
Pick A New Head For CFPB — Close It Down Instead. CFPB is often mischaracterized as a "consumer
watchdog" in the mainstream media. Consumer attack dog is more like it. Set up to protect consumers from
predatory lenders and rogue banks, the CFPB has in fact led to less credit for financially troubled Americans, and is
arguably not even legal. And no, that's not just our opinion. An October 2016 Supreme Court ruling found CFPB's
structure to be unconstitutional, a violation of the separation of powers in the nation's supreme law.
of CFPB head gives Trump opportunity to erase Elizabeth Warren's legacy. Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee
and head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced to staff in an email Wednesday his plans to
resign. While he's yet to confirm his plans, there's speculation Cordray will return home to run for Ohio's
governorship. The CFPB functions as, "a regulator set up in response to the 2008 financial crisis to police mortgages,
credit cards and other financial products," and was the brainchild of Massachusetts Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Unlike other agencies, due to the unique circumstanced through which the CFPB was created (was part of Dodd-Frank in 2010),
Cordray answered to no one. As the bureau's director, Cordray controlled the budget (other federal entities are
subject to Congressional budget allocation), and was subject to no term limits.
bureau chief announces resignation. The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced
his resignation Wednesday, giving President Trump the chance to reshape an agency that has long been the target of Republican
ire. Richard Cordray told CFPB staff he expects "to step down from his position here before the end of the month," he
wrote in an email.
Pence casts tie-breaking vote to cancel Obama-era rule favoring class-action suits against banks. With Vice President
Mike Pence casting the deciding vote, the Senate voted late Tuesday night [10/24/2017] to undo a rule issued by the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau that would bar financial firms from contracts that rule out class-action lawsuits related to their products.
The measure now goes to President Trump's desk. Two Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana,
voted no, forcing Pence to break the tie.
Cordray: Poster Child For Bureaucrats Behaving Badly. Americans disagree on how much government is too
much. That is not surprising; we live in a diverse country. But, a common thread — that links us
all — is fairness. We expect it, and when it is taken away, we fight back. The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created to protect Americans, but it's structural flaws and blatantly ambitious leader doomed it
from Day One. A recent poll revealed 75 percent of Americans surveyed believe financial regulators, like Richard
Cordray — Director of the CFPB, care more about their own jobs and ambitions than our nation's economic well-being.
Mr. Cordray leads a massive — and growing — federal bureaucracy that reports to no one.
Not to a board, not to the President of the United States, and certainly not to the American people.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Richard Cordray thinks he's above the law — no surprise since his
Pelosi-created agency is too. Everyone knows you can't run for governor of Ohio and head up an agency of the
United States government at the same time. Then why is Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB), doing just that? It was recently reported that a state judge in Ohio by the name of Bill
O'Neill was asked by a friend of Cordray's if he would stay out of the race for governor if Cordray became an official
candidate. This is a campaign maneuver that's regularly employed in order to mitigate headaches in an upcoming
race. In this case, Cordray is trying to limit the number of primary challengers he would face in the upcoming
Democrat primary election next spring.
Heritage Budget Wants to Ax
Federal Housing Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The firing of a federal employee takes
about 18 months on average, given the appeals process, which allows multiple avenues for an employee to register
complaints. This was one of the central issues discussed Tuesday [8/22/2017] at the Heritage Foundation, where members
of the conservative think tank outlined the organization's Blueprint for Reorganization. [...] Suggestions include the
elimination of entire offices like the Federal Housing Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It
also envisions consolidating Veterans Affairs, which has 42 offices specifically focused on health benefits, a setup that
was described Tuesday [8/22/2017] as a "bureaucratic nightmare" for veterans.
DOJ ends Holder-era 'Operation Choke Point'. The Trump Justice Department is ending an Obama-era program that
had attempted to cut off credit to shady businesses but came under fire from Republicans for unfairly targeting gun dealers
and other legitimate operations. Just days after top House Republicans had pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to
shutter Operation Choke Point, the department confirmed in a response letter that the program is dead. "All of the
Department's bank investigations conducted as part of Operation Chokepoint are now over, the initiative is no longer in
effect, and it will not be undertaken again," Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in the Aug. 16-dated letter,
calling it a "misguided initiative" from the prior administration.
CFPB Rule Legislates False Data to Help Trial Lawyers. As if further evidence were needed, last week, the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau (CFPB) demonstrated why it needs to be eliminated. It announced a new rule that, if not overturned, will upend an effective way of
addressing consumer claims against financial institutions, potentially flood the courts with cases, and increase costs to customers. While
getting rid of the CFPB may be a long-term project, Congress has a way to swiftly undo this new rule through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
It should do so before the rule comes into effect.
CFPB Supervision Problem. On June 12, 2017, the Treasury Department issued a 149-page report proposing reforms
to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, many of which were in the Financial CHOICE Act that House Republicans had passed a week
earlier. Most of the proposed revisions to the 2010 law, enacted while Democrats controlled Congress and the White
House, concern technical measures designed to prevent a repetition of the 2008 financial meltdown. The most
controversial proposals involve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While the CFPB was not essential to the goal
of preventing economic crises, a modest federal agency dedicated to curbing financial-industry fraud, like the one Senator
Elizabeth Warren first advocated as a law professor in a 2007 article, might have provided welcome enforcement of consumer
financial laws that had been neglected by state agencies and solvency-focused bank regulators.
Trump Wants Power to Fire the Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When PHH Financial, a mortgage
lender, was fined $109 million by the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), it filed suit against the
agency for overreaching its prerogatives. It also demanded that the court dismantle the agency altogether. A
three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled last fall that, indeed, Richard Cordray,
the CFPB's director, did overreach, but that dismantling the agency was itself too much to ask. Last Friday Trump's
Department of Justice (DOJ) made an unusual move in the case, which has been appealed to the full bench by filing an amicus
brief. Said DOJ officials: "Because a single agency head is unchecked by the constraints of group decision-making
among members appointed by different presidents, there is a greater risk that an 'independent' agency, headed by a single
person, will engage in extreme departures from the president's executive policy." This is how a lawyer complicates the
simplest thing: The CFPB's head is not accountable to anyone. Its funding comes from the Federal Reserve where
the agency is housed. Cordray cannot be fired, except for the grossest mismanagement. He is, in other words,
immune from any oversight by the president, Congress, or the courts. He is a rogue head of a rogue agency.
Cruz Introduces One-Line Bill To Abolish Warren's Consumer Agency. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz
introduced a two-page bill Tuesday to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the darling of Sen. Elizabeth
Warren and Bernie Sanders. The Repeal CFPB Act, which Cruz and four other Republican senators sponsored, would repeal
the Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the part of the Dodd-Frank bill that created the CFPB and granted it sweeping authority
over banks, money lenders and financial institutions. "Don't let the name fool you, the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau does little to protect consumers," Cruz said in a statement.
Warren's Secrets and Lies. [T]he CFPB has spent the last five years stonewalling congressional oversight and document requests.
Bipartisan commissions are internally transparent, meaning a restructuring would give even minority Republican commissioners access to confidential
CFPB inspector-general reports, employee files, and internal e-mails and documents. Senator Warren's reputation rests largely on the CFPB, and she
knows what the bureau is hiding. She'd like to keep those secrets hidden until her reelection to the Senate in 2018 — and perhaps a bigger
race in 2020.
Train Flows Wide And Deep At Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Agency. Pay is flowing so generously at the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that hundreds of bureaucrats there receive more than most members of Congress. [...]
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin receives $223,000 per year, but that's less than what 54 CFPB employees are
paid. Another 170 CFPB employees earn more than the secretaries of defense and state, the attorney general and the
director of national intelligence. All cabinet salaries are capped at $199,700, but not at the bureau.
Tragic Downfall of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On October 11, 2016, in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found the CFPB's structure unconstitutional and "fixed" it
by empowering the president to remove the agency's director at will. It sounds dull, but this is a tragic story.
Utterly Unconstitutional. Two months ago, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit officially ruled that the
structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional, a criticism that has been leveled at the
agency since its creation in 2010. The court found that so much unaccountable power was concentrated in the person of the
director of the CFPB that it could not pass constitutional muster. Under the court's ruling, the director now will be
removable at will by the president, just like the head of any other agency. This represents an important blow for the
system of separation of powers enshrined in the US Constitution.
Is The Most Partisan Agency In The Entire Federal Government, According To FEC Records. And the award for most
partisan federal government agency with the most donations to Democrats goes to ... the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(CFPB). According to campaign finance data released Thursday, employees of the bureau — created under the
watchful eye of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — gave 100 percent of its donations to Democratic
candidates in 2016, with $50,000 of political aid money divided between Hillary Clinton and independent Vermont
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who battled it out for the Democratic presidential nomination.
100% of CFPB Donations
Went to Democrats. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the most partisan agency in the federal
government in terms of donations to candidates, according to campaign finance data. Employees at the CFPB, which was
created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, contributed nearly $50,000 during the 2016 campaign
with all of that money going to aid Hillary Clinton or her rival, the insurgent socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., VT).
Agency employees made more than 300 donations during the campaign. Not one went to a Republican candidate.
Out-Of-Control Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Gets Its Wings Clipped. A U.S. appeals court took a small
step to restoring constitutional order to the federal government on Tuesday when it issued a blistering decision which found
that the design of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the court left this
dangerous agency otherwise intact. It's not too much of an exaggeration to describe the CFPB as the Frankenstein's
Monster of federal regulatory agencies. When Democrats breathed life into it as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform
law, they created a bureau that — by design — was almost entirely unaccountable to the public.
Congress has no control over its funding — the money comes from the Federal Reserve. Its regulatory reach is
vast. And its sole director could only be removed by the president for cause.
the Postal Service Handle Your Loans as Well as Your Mail? Elizabeth Warren Thinks So. The Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau is inching closer to eliminating private payday lending with restrictive new rules and, some
advocates hope, paving the way for the U.S. Postal Service to take over these banking services. The agency's liberal
supporters, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., long have wanted to replace the payday lending industry with a
government-run alternative. Now, they are pushing to include language in the Democratic Party platform to add banking
to the line of services provided by the U.S. Postal Service. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act granted authority to the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau to regulate and restrict short-term credit providers and payday lenders.
Wells Fargo Case: This is Consumer Protection? Recent news that Wells Fargo employees had opened as many
as two million unauthorized customer bank and credit card accounts since 2011 was shocking. The bank fired 5,300
workers and agreed to pay $185 million in fines to the Los Angeles City Attorney, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB's media blitz reduced the other two agencies to bystanders. The
CFPB has been more political theater than good government since then-law professor Elizabeth Warren prodded the Democratic
president and Congress to create the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. The law insulated the new agency from
Republican participation through a single director structure and funding independent of the congressional appropriations
process. Warren was elected Massachusetts's senator. The CFPB quickly became a single-party, clandestine
organization whose top priority is self-promotion.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is still unaccountable. Four years ago, the
big-government liberals got the agency of their dreams, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It
was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was a Harvard law professor in real life and a
Cherokee Indian in her dreams before she was elected to the U.S. Senate. There she beats the drums
for the bureau to serve as a "cop on the beat" to protect consumers from undisciplined capitalism.
The bureau is mired in undisciplined corruption. Created through the passage of the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street regulation act, the bureau was crafted with uniquely undemocratic features. The bureau
pays its bills by drawing funds directly from the Federal Reserve, bypassing Congress. It was set up
this way to ensure it would operate as a fiefdom free from congressional scrutiny, and it shows.
for fairness in all the wrong places. What the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
really does is anyone's guess. [...] Consider it an outreach program that brings Occupy Wall Street into the halls of power.
The CFPB was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren when she was just a lowly socialist Harvard
professor. Now she is the senator from Taxachussetts. When she was campaigning for that position,
she came up with the slogan later borrowed by President Obama to make the rich feel guilty for
their success: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."
Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren at Center of CFPB Scandal. Possible
presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who came up with the idea and led the
start-up of the "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" as a federal watchdog to prevent financial
institutions from abusing U.S. consumers, is now at the center of the a scandal regarding the
vanished authorization to spend $215.8 million on a luxurious remodel that included a new
penthouse floor and indoor waterfall for the bureau's rented Washington, D.C. office space.
The Office of Inspector General of the United States Federal Reserve (OIG) was requested by the
House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Committee on January 29, 2014, to
evaluate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) headquarters renovation costs that rose
from $55 million to at least $215.8 million.
Four Pinocchios: Warren's
false claim that 'auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year'. Sen. Warren
has long objected to Congress's decision to exempt automobile dealers from the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, which she helped set up as an adviser to the Obama administration. In a
recent speech, she indicated that she will push Congress to eliminate this exemption and allow the CFPB
to supervise loans made by car dealers.
Choke Point asphyxiating payday lenders. Greg Palmer and his partner opened their first Dollar Smart store in
Oxnard, California, in 1999, eventually growing into a seven-shop chain that employed 75 people, providing payday lending,
auto financing loans, wire transfers and money orders to the unbanked community. Fifteen years later he says they ended up
in the crosshairs of the Obama administration's Operation Choke Point, with their main bank account closed and no other banks
willing to take their business. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had put the word out that payday lenders, along
with gun stores and more than two dozen other industries, were undesirables.
buy the spin — Operation Choke Point targets legal businesses. All Americans,
entrepreneurs and small businesses across our great country come from very different walks of life.
They have taken great risks and share a common dream to start a company that can one day become profitable
and provide for their families. Although businesses face incredible hurdles before they succeed, the
ones that do survive provide the foundation for our local communities. Unfortunately, the most alarming
hurdle facing businesses today is a Department of Justice initiative known as Operation Choke Point.
Supply Chain Choke Point? David Codrea gives a rundown of the recent actions by the ATF on the ammunition
supply chain. "ATF was recently asked about the status of nitrocellulose under the Federal explosives laws and
regulations," the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives noted in its... industry newsletter. "'Nitrocellulose
explosive' is on ATF's List of Explosive Materials." Who did the asking — and what their motives were —
was left unsaid. [...]"
Judges Question Constitutionality Of Obama's Prized Consumer Agency. A federal appeals court appears ready to
declare the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unconstitutional, a major blow to the first new
agency created under President Barack Obama. The possibility of dramatic action against CFPB arose in an oral argument
Tuesday [4/12/2016] before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Choke Point, Bank De-Risking, and Obama Administration Coercion. For all his faults, you have to give President
Obama credit for strong convictions. He's generally misguided, but it's perversely impressive to observe his relentless
advocacy for higher taxes, bigger government, more intervention, and limits on constitutional freedoms. That being
said, his desire to "fundamentally transform" the United States leads him to decisions that run roughshod over core principles
of a civilized society such as the rule of law. Consider, for instance, the Obama Administration project, known as
"Operation Choke Point," to restrict banking services to politically incorrect businesses such as gun dealers.
Top Obama Official Says Operation Choke Point Had 'Collateral' Consequences. One of President Barack Obama's former
top Justice Department officials behind Operation Choke Point said Thursday [4/7/2016] the program had "unintended but collateral
consequences" on banks and U.S. consumers. "Unfortunately, as the investigations continue, so too have one of the unintended but
collateral consequences of such vigilance: mass de-risking," wrote Michael J. Bresnick, who previously served as executive
director of Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, under which Operation Choke Point was created. "Members of the
industry have raised their hands in frustration and simply avoided lines of business typically associated with higher risk.
This reaction to [the Justice Department's] enforcement initiative, and similar matters brought by the Federal Trade Commission and
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is certainly understandable."
Out If Your Lawmaker Voted to End Operation Choke Point. The House of Representatives concluded a tense debate Thursday [2/4/2016]
by voting 250-169 to end a controversial Obama administration program called Operation Choke Point. Critics say the secretive program,
run by the Department of Justice, has been used to target politically unpopular industries such as gun sellers. [...] Operation Choke Point was
launched by the Justice Department in 2013 as a way to fight fraud by pressuring banks to "choke off" access to credit and other banking services
by merchants and industries the administration considered at a high risk for fraud. Without access to banking services, it is
difficult — if not impossible — for a business to survive.
accused of blocking legal gun shops, other businesses from banking. Mike Schuetz
operates a small gun shop in northern Wisconsin called Hawkins Guns. In November, just before one of
his peak selling times, his local credit union notified him his account needed to be closed.
"The bank manager said they made a mistake, and they were not supposed to open accounts for those
people involved in high-risk industries, which the gun industry and ammunition industry is one of
those," Schuetz said. It turned out there was a list created by a Justice Department program
called Operation Choke Point.
Gingrich: Choke Point 'Is the Beginning of a Real Tyranny in the United States'. In an
exclusive interview with The Daily Signal, Newt Gingrich called the Justice Department's Operation
Choke Point, "the beginning of a real tyranny in the United States," and said the whole program
needs to be dismantled. "I don't think the average American realizes that the bureaucrats have
come up with a model, which could kill any industry, kill any business, and do so even though what
it was doing was totally legal," he said while attending the 2015 Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) on Friday [2/27/2015]. "I think that's very frightening for our future."
Admin Tells Banks To Shut Up About Its Targeting of Consumers, Gun Dealers. The Obama
administration's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is threatening banks to be silent about the
administration's new programs supervising and investigating private bank account holders. A
shocking bulletin that CFPB issued to banks, which was obtained by The Daily Caller, was sent around
this week in the midst of controversy regarding the administration's Operation Choke Point program,
by which the administration pressures banks to cut off accounts for supposedly suspicious businesses,
including gun dealers.
Point Draws Heat From Gun Industry. Banned from financial services that are essential
to running a business, firearms sellers attending the world's largest gun show last week in Las
Vegas spoke out against the government's controversial program known as Operation Choke Point.
"We continue to hear from dealers and others in our industry that suddenly, out of the blue, they
have been cut off by financial services or credit card processors or banks," said Larry Keane,
Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Pressure Credit Union to Close Wisconsin Gun Dealer's Bank Account. A gun dealer in
Hawkins, Wisconsin says the federal government forced the Heritage Credit Union to close his
recently opened bank account because he's in the business of legally selling guns. Mike Schuetz,
the owner of Hawkins Guns LLC, a firearms store that sells both guns and ammunition, has audio tapes
to support his claims. The United States Consumer Coalition calls this just the latest example of
the extralegal overreach of Operation Choke Point, the Obama administration's effort to put industries
it doesn't like — especially gun dealers and pay day lenders — out of business.
Down On Operation Choke Point. The sheer evil brilliance of Obama's minions never
ceases to amaze me. They are tenacious in their efforts to find ways to circumvent the Constitution
and our laws — they simply never give up. There is no better example of this currently
than Operation Choke Point. They were caught in 2013 targeting legal industries they did not
approve of by bullying banks and other financial institutions into cutting off funds to those whose
activities were not 'acceptable.' Specifically, the gun industry.
Obama uses Justice Dept. to target gun sellers, 'high risk' businesses. A House panel says the Obama
administration is using the Justice Department to target and "choke out" businesses it finds objectionable, from gun
dealers and payday lenders to drug paraphernalia sellers and porn merchants. The administration is using an
anti-credit card fraud effort dubbed Operation Choke Point to go after legitimate businesses it deems "high-risk,"
says a staff report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Out The Administration's Latest Backdoor Effort To Control Gun Sales. In 2013, Barack Obama's Justice
Department launched Operation Choke Point, which it said it would use to "monitor" banks and other financial institutions
who process transactions for payday loan businesses and other online lenders the administration considers open to fraudulent
activities. And now? The operation is reportedly being used against banks who do business with other types of
companies the administration deems "high risk." Among them: porn stores, escort services and drug paraphernalia
shops. And gun dealers. Yeah, gun dealers.
The Government Agency From Hell, the
"Consumer Financial Protection Bureau". A little-known federal government agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, imposes enormous
costs on consumers and financial service providers through costly and unwarranted command-and-control regulation. What's more, the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau runs afoul of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. Thus, both economic and constitutional concerns indicate that it
is time for Congress to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and reallocate those of its functions that merit being retained to other existing
federal regulatory agencies. Creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a key feature of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which, as Heritage
scholars have explained, represents a failed attempt to address the causes of the 2008 financial crisis (in fact, it makes future financial crises and
bailouts more likely).
based anti-discrimination settlements on 'half baked' statistics. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an anti-discrimination crusade
against banks giving auto loans in 2012 based not on specific complaints by consumers, but on "half-baked" statistics, according to a story in The New York Post.
In fact, there were no complaints filed with the Bureau at all. Instead, the CFPB issued summary judgments extorting and shaking down banks in an effort to
achieve "racial justice."
bullied bank to pay racial settlement without proof: report. Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration
knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending
business as part of a "racial justice" campaign that's looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.
So far, Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders
since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active
investigation. That's despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination — it was all
just based on half-baked statistics.
mocks agency's 1,000-page plan to simplify loan forms. House Republicans and the nation's head consumer watchdog sparred Tuesday
[7/24/2012] over an agency proposal to simplify mortgage documents that runs more than 1,000 pages. Republicans expressed astonishment
at the length of the proposed rule and argued the page count is evidence that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking the
heavy-handed approach to regulation that it has long feared. "Only inside this Beltway that we come up with solutions that are so
difficult," Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said at the hearing of a House Oversight subcommittee. "It's government red tape that's keeping
this economy from recovering."
Lee Attempt to Take Down Operation Choke Point. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah plan to
introduce a bill today that attempts to unravel the Justice Department's controversial program Operation Choke Point, The
Daily Signal has exclusively learned. "Under President Obama's reign, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition
of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House," Cruz said. "The Obama
administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don't align with the president's
political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising
their constitutional rights."
Voicemail, Bank Says It No Longer Lends to Firearms Dealers. The stories of two businessmen who recently were
denied banking services because they sell firearms suggest a secretive government program called Operation Choke Point still
affects industries across the nation that the Obama administration considered undesirable. In one case, a large bank in
New England denied a line of credit to a former police officer who started a gun and tactical business in Monroe, Conn., saying
it "no longer lends to firearms dealers." In the other case, a branch of a North Carolina bank refused to set up a
new payment service for a firearms seller in Tryon, N.C., because of the nature of his industry, the business owner said.
attempts to end Operation Choke Point with letter, action. In an effort to put an end
to Operation Choke Point — a financial task force that was created by the Obama administration
to "choke out" businesses it finds objectionable like gun shops — the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp. issued a letter Wednesday [1/28/2015] saying all banks should examine their customer relationships
on a case-by-case basis and not by industry operational risk. The government agency followed the
action with a memorandum to its supervisory staff requiring examiners put in writing their recommendation
to terminate an account, which the financial institution must review before the account is ended.
Changes Tactics in Response to Operation Choke Point. The Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp. has acknowledged its role in Operation Choke Point and is taking dramatic steps to reverse its
policies in targeting legal and legitimate industries that are disfavored by the Obama administration.
"We're very pleased they've acknowledged their wrongdoing and they've accepted our suggestions to put in
place measures to stop this activity," Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., told The Daily Signal in a phone
call this morning [1/28/2015].
accused of targeting gun industry with 'Choke Point' program. The Obama administration, after failing to get
gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry
out of business, House Republican investigators say. The assertion is included in a report recently released by California
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Citing internal
Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known
as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds "objectionable."
'Operation Choke Point' is Illegal, Must be Dismantled. The Justice Department's
"Operation Choke Point" is so flagrantly illegal it cannot continue in any form under the law, the
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Charman Darrell Issa's staff said in a new report,
setting up a constitutional confrontation between the legislative and executive branches of the
federal government. "In light of the Department's obligation to act within the bounds of the law,
and its avowed commitment not to 'discourage or inhibit' the lawful conduct of honest merchants, it
is necessary to disavow and dismantle Operation Choke Point," the report said. The controversial
Obama administration initiative known as Operation Choke Point was launched in 2013.
votes to defund Justice Dept. program that targeted legitimate gun dealers. The House of Representatives
passed an amendment Thursday to stop all federal funding to be used for the Department of Justice's Operation Choke
Point, an anti-fraud operation that was found to be cutting off legitimate businesses from their banking lines.
"This is a major victory for consumers, law-abiding businesses, and anyone who believes in due process and restraint
of government encroachment," said the Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade group opposed to the
operation, in a statement Friday. "Additionally, our banking system benefits as it will not be put in the position
to police customers or make judgments about the political popularity of businesses and industries."
launching hearings on complaints businesses targeted by 'Operation Choke Point'. A
controversial federal law enforcement program that critics say targeted businesses the Obama
administration didn't like is about to face a new wave of congressional scrutiny, with Capitol Hill
hearings set to begin Tuesday [3/24/2015]. Under the program, called Operation Choke Point, banks
and other financial institutions were reportedly pressured to cut off accounts for targeted businesses.
This included gun stores, casinos, tobacco distributors, short-term lenders and other businesses.
Critics claim the program — overseen by the Justice Department, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation and other agencies — was used to squeeze legal companies that some politicians
considered morally objectionable.
to Government Official: Why Has No One Been Fired Over Choke Point? The head of the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) told members of Congress Tuesday [3/24/2015] that part of the
agency's involvement in Operation Choke Point was a "mistake." "Clearly there was misunderstanding
with regards to the list, which was a mistake on our part," Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the FDIC, said
of the agency's decision to create a supervisory list of 30 "high risk" industries that, in addition to
highlighting a number of illegal or outright offensive enterprises like "racist materials," featured
legal merchants such as gun dealers and payday lenders. But if it was a "mistake," Republicans
asked, why has no one been fired or held accountable?
Wants FDIC Officials to Pay for Seeking to 'Choke' Legal Businesses. Senior FDIC officials must be held
accountable for banking regulators' "unethical" and "illegal" actions against legitimate businesses that are out of
favor with the Obama administration, a congressman with a background in banking said today [12/10/2014]. In a
letter to Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.,
says he wants a full review of all FDIC employees involved in Operation Choke Point. Luetkemeyer, a rising member
of the House Financial Services Committee, names five officials as "implicated in this unsavory affair," and adds that
"to allow these individuals to go without penalty would be unjust."
Four Business Owners Squeezed by Operation Choke Point. With no explanation, Brian
Brookman last month lost the bank account for his pawn shop. He had no idea why. Brookman says
his store in Grand Haven, Mich., never had been in trouble with federal or state officials. [...]
After researching his case on the Internet, Brookman says he concluded that his banker, JP Morgan
Chase, closed the account because two of his business activities — dealing in vintage
coins and selling firearms — were labeled "high risk" by federal bureaucrats as part of
an Obama administration initiative called Operation Choke Point.
Choke Point: Shutting Down Perfectly Legal Businesses for Political Reasons. In recent
months, a federal government regulatory initiative called Operation Choke Point has gained increased
public and media attention. Operation Choke Point is ostensibly a joint effort by various regulatory
entities — the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,
and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) most prominent among them — to reduce
the chances of Americans falling victim to fraud in a variety of "high-risk" industries,
predominantly payday lending. It uses existing regulatory powers to provide heightened supervision
of banks that do business with the third party payment processors that provide payment services to
Choke Point Hearing Reveals DOJ Threats And Strong-Arming. A Justice Department fraud
prevention program came under fire Thursday for allegedly morphing into actively pressuring banks to
deny financial services to businesses for political reasons. Operation Choke Point functions as a
partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal
with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to
choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.
The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline
doing business with so-called "high risk" industries which line up squarely against the political leanings
of the current administration.
Race Cops Now Targeting Small-Business Lenders. Opening a new front in its "disparate
impact" discrimination campaign against the private sector, the Obama regime is planning to force
banks for the first time to report small-business lending data by race. The coming race database
will add to those the regime already has begun building to collect what it hopes is statistical
evidence of national racism in housing, zoning, mortgage lending, credit card financing, hiring and
even school discipline. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had planned to foist the onerous
new regulation — which requires lenders to report the race and ethnicity of the principal
owners of small businesses applying for loans and credit lines — on the financial
industry next year.
Operation Choke Point And The New American Legal System. Recently social media was
ablaze with the news that adult entertainer, Teagan Presley, had received word from Chase Bank that
they were closing her account. Presley had just become the latest law-abiding citizen to be swept
up in "Operation Choke Point," an joint effort by the Departments of Justice, Treasury and a handful
of other agencies to effectively shut-down industries that the federal government doesn't like.
Here's the catch — they have no legal authority to shutter them and most of the victims of
this overreach are losing their banking relationships even though they've done nothing wrong.
The CFPB A Real-Life Version of Scandal's B613? In the fictional Washington of ABC's Scandal, B613
is a super-secret spy agency that operates outside the bounds of the federal government, using its assets to "protect
the Republic." Similar to B613, the real-life Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established in 2010
by Dodd-Frank, operates as an "independent agency" outside the constitutional authority of the United States Congress,
with little oversight or accountability.
Unleashing Army Of 'Behavioral Economists' On Consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to add
more "behavioral economists" as part of a new Obama executive order to use data mining to manipulate consumer behavior —
and push his leftist agenda. The president's new order, titled "Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American
People," calls on CFPB and other regulatory agencies to "recruit behavioral science experts" to "design government policies."
The new army of social engineers will work with the Orwellian-sounding White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team to massage
consumer data and "nudge" consumers toward behaving the way Big Brother Barack wants them to behave. That means signing up
for "free" health care, for example, and buying more eco-friendly products while commuting less to reduce their carbon footprint.
pen strikes again. The most important story you never heard anything about in the mainstream media is when President Obama
picked up his fabled pen and signed an executive order on Tuesday, Sept. 15, entitled "Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better
Serve the American People." Ladies and gentlemen, you have just been "Nudged."
Big Brother Database Grows Scarier By Day. Known as the National Mortgage Database, it
will store vast amounts of personally identifiable information, as well as extremely sensitive
financial information that even the IRS doesn't collect, including your credit scores and
performance data on credit cards and home, auto, business and student loans. The repository will
be linked to your name, telephone numbers, Social Security number, employment records, address and
date of birth, as well as race and religion. The regime cryptically explains it's collecting the
data for "research" and "policymaking." But according to a Federal Register notice, the database
will also be used by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to prosecute financial crimes.
Issa Demands Answers from Eric Holder on 'Operation Choke Point' Bank Shakedown. Breitbart News broke the story Wednesday
morning [1/8/2014] that the Obama administration launched 'Operation Choke Point' out of the Department of Justice in 2013 for the
express purpose of destroying three key sectors of the private lending industry: third party payment processors ("TPPPs"), online
lenders, and payday lenders. Issa and Jordan requested that the Department of Justice turn over to the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee "[a]ll documents and communications since January 1, 2011 referring or relating to 'Operation
Choke Point'" by January 22, 2014.
Shakes Down 'Racist' Banks For Nearly $1 Bil. Attorney General Eric Holder has opened up a new front against car
lenders and has forged an alliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to frame them for racism, too. We don't use the
term "frame" capriciously, certainly not like Holder uses the charge of racism. His department and the president's new consumer
credit watchdog agency, CFPB, have announced a new settlement with Ally Bank for nearly $100 million.
Calls for impeachment.
[Scroll down] The President's unconstitutional recess appointments of Richard Cordray to be head of the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may be
impeachable offenses, according to some constitutional experts. There are multiple offenses against the
Constitution in this tyrannical and undemocratic act. Article I, Section 5 allows the Senate to
adjourn for more than three days only when it has the consent of the House. The House refuses to allow
the Senate to go into an extended recess.
Spying On Consumers Without Security Protections. The most powerful unaccountable agency in Washington is mining and
amassing all your personal financial data. While that's bad enough, it also isn't adequately protecting them from hackers and
identity thieves. A just-released inspector general report found that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is conducting
a massive consumer data-mining operation without the security safeguards to protect the sensitive data from cyberattacks.
Choke Point is government run amuck. Operation Choke point is an Obama Administration
Justice Department program created in 2013 to intimidate banks into not loaning money to businesses
that they simply do not like. This means that gun shop owners, tobacco retailers, and other
companies like this are going to be feeling the stranglehold of government. Already, they have
used the program to block credit being issued to small business owners and have put gun dealers out
of business. They have targeted companies that sell fireworks. They targeted online gaming
companies. They went after tobacco sellers and dating services. They have even targeted loan
companies if they don't favor the rates and the recipients, such as "payday" loan companies.
challenges the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank. With the Supreme Court poised to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare,
a suit filed today challenges the constitutionality of the other signature legislation of President Obama's first term: Dodd-Frank. [...] The
lawsuit's major claim is that the formation and operation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) violates the constitution because its
director (or czar) is not accountable to Congress or the President, and the decisions of the agency are not even subject to judicial review.
The CFPB escapes meaningful congressional oversight because its budget — some $400 million — comes from the Federal
Financial Protection Bureau already sinking into scandal. It's great to have Uncle Sam looking out for the little guy,
isn't it? That's why it was such a super-duper, nifty idea for Washington to summon into being the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau. [...] So now that they are on the job, keeping citizens safe from big banking fat cats and ensuring financial responsibility
and ethics, how are they doing? Well... pretty much on par with what you'd expect out of any massive Washington bureaucracy.
Starts Constitutional Crisis, Installs New Radical Czars. Apparently, "respecting the U.S.
Constitution" didn't make it onto President Obama's 2012 New Year's resolution list, as evidenced by his
"recess" appointment of anti-business extremist Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau (CFPB). Just an few hours later, Obama made three additional appointments to the National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB), which has become little more than a Big Labor battering ram under this president.
Obama is terming his appointments "recess" appointments. They are nothing of the sort, because Congress
is not in recess.
Reject the trial-lawyer
czar. The legacy of President Obama's time in office has been an unprecedented expansion of the
federal government. A perfect example of this is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is
part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law. Even though this brand-new bureaucracy opened for business in July,
most Americans have never heard of it — and they won't so long as it remains leaderless. Senate
Republicans held strong against the possible nomination of Elizabeth Warren, Mr. Obama's presumed first choice
to run this $329 million drain on taxpayer resources.
Warren skips out during House Oversight hearing. Elizabeth Warren, President Obama's controversial
choice to head the new consumer financial regulatory agency, skipped out of a House Oversight hearing before
answering questions from two members of the committee, claiming that she had reached an agreement allowing
her to leave at that time. But Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-NC, chair of the subcommittee holding the
hearing, said no such agreement existed.
What is Elizabeth Warren's job? More
useless gov't. This is major expansion of government — a separate branch of the
Federal Reserve with immense powers to regulate "all consumer products." The excuse for it is
bogus — a simplistic and false narrative on how the financial crisis began (nothing more than evil
bankers pushing risky loans on unsuspecting consumers). And even if you buy that, the agency probably
wouldn't have stopped the meltdown because it's hardly as "independent" as its fans pretend.
$20 billion mortgage shakedown. The White House is hoping to strong-arm banks into paying off
the mortgages of irresponsible homeowners at the expense of the rest of us. The idea is to tap
financial institutions to create an unregulated $20 billion slush fund to pay off the principal for
people who are upside-down and delinquent on their housing payments. Political appointees in the Obama
administration would get to choose the winners and losers in the house pay-off lottery.
Really Making Things Up? A House panel grilled Elizabeth Warren, the interim director of the
new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), this week. Republicans on the committee want to strip
the agency of its power before it even begins on July 21. The agency's purpose is to oversee rules
regulating loans, credit cards and mortgages for consumers. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the chairman
of the subcommittee, accused Warren, a Harvard professor currently on leave from the university, of lying to
Congress about her role in helping state officials negotiate a settlement with mortgage servicers that improperly
foreclosed on homeowners. He even got into a dispute with Warren over when she could leave the hearing.
Agency Scraps Employee Ratings To Avoid 'Discrimination'. One government agency has decided
that the results of employee ratings are too discriminatory, and eliminated the process entirely.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Monday that it will now award all employees the
highest rating regardless of performance reviews. The CFPB, which oversees transactions in the
financial sector for the federal government, decided to no longer conduct employee reviews because
there were just too many apparent "significant disparities" between the races, ages, and locations
of its employees.