If you’d like to know why Republicans are trying to shut down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, take a look at three things the agency has already accomplished in its first 18 months:
¶It called a halt to predatory practices by mortgage lenders, ensuring that borrowers are not saddled with loans they can’t afford and preventing brokers from earning higher commissions for higher interest rates.
¶It won an $85 million settlement from American Express, which it accused of deceptive and discriminatory marketing and billing practices.
The bureau cannot operate without a director. Under the Dodd-Frank law, most of its regulatory powers — particularly its authority over nonbanks like finance companies, debt collectors, payday lenders and credit agencies — can be exercised only by a director. Knowing that, Republicans used a filibuster to prevent President Obama’s nominee for director, Richard Cordray, from reaching a vote in 2011. Mr. Obama then gave Mr. Cordray a recess appointment, but a federal appeals court recently ruled in another case that the Senate was not in recess at that time because Republicans had arranged for sham sessions.