Rep. Ann Wagner takes aim at consumer protection chief

Rep. Ann Wagner, R Ballwin, is laying the groundwork for President Donald Trump to fire the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s director.

Lawmakers created the bureau in 2011 as a response to the global financial crisis, and the agency has since returned about $11.8 billion to 29 million people.

Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bureau’s creation, say those results stem from an overzealous crackdown on businesses.

Conservatives argue the agency’s regulations put small firms at a disadvantage against bigger corporations, which can more easily afford the bureau’s fines and compliance costs, while making loans more expensive for consumers.

But GOP lawmakers hoping to bring the bureau to heel have a problem: The law says the president cannot remove the bureau’s director, former Democratic Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, without “cause” before his term ends in mid-2018.

As the new chairwoman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Wagner convened her first hearing to build a case for overhauling the agency. Some of the hearing’s speakers argued the president could ignore the statute protecting Cordray’s job and fire him.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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