Because progressives rely on situational ethics and deceit to advance their agendas, they have a difficult time keeping their stories straight.
Usually, they just ram their way through any challenges over their inconsistencies or hypocrisy, but sometimes the law gets involved, and the contradictions must be addressed.
Now, in a case heading to the Supreme Court, some once expedient testimony from government officials could threaten a major Obama-era government bureau.
Questions about the funding of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could end up gutting the agency, based on how the court rules.
The possibility is troubling to both Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who helped create the CFPB, and the Biden administration.
The Washington Times reported on the actions taken by the CFPB since it was set up in 2010: “Over 12 years, the CFPB has sent more than 3.3 million consumer complaints to companies, with a 98% timely response rate by financial firms, according to the House Financial Services Committee. It has delivered more than $14.9 billion in monetary compensation, principal reductions, canceled debts and other consumer relief.”
The Times also described the CFPB’s latest legal troubles.
The agency was originally set up to receive funding from the Federal Reserve, not directly from Congress. In 2022, the CFPB requested $642 million from the Fed.
Supporters assert this system keeps the CFPB independent. Critics have long claimed this evasion of the congressional power of the purse is unconstitutional.
On Oct. 19, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. That court ruled the CFPB itself is unconstitutional due to the way it is funded without oversight by Congress. The ruling could ultimately end the authority of the CFPB over the financial industry, according to CNBC.
The Biden administration has been forced to appeal the decision to the conservative Supreme Court, saying the funding system is appropriate under the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause.
The Supreme Court has altered the CFPB before. As reported by Forbes in June 2020, the court ruled the president could fire the head of the CFPB at will instead of needing the justification of inefficiency, neglect or malfeasance.
At the time, Warren celebrated the fact that the court hadn’t taken more aggressive action against the CFPB.
She posted to Twitter, “Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture: after years of industry attacks and GOP opposition, a conservative Supreme Court recognized what we all knew: the [CFPB] itself and the law that created it is constitutional. The CFPB is here to stay.”
Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture: after years of industry attacks and GOP opposition, a conservative Supreme Court recognized what we all knew: the @CFPB itself and the law that created it is constitutional. The CFPB is here to stay.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 29, 2020
Warren first proposed the consumer financial watchdog agency before she became a senator; she developed a plan for the CFPB while a Harvard professor in 2007. (Warren took advantage of affirmative action programs and got the Harvard position by falsely claiming to be Native American.)
Warren claimed the creation of the CFPB as one of her success stories during her failed 2020 presidential campaign.
But the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision shows Warren may have celebrated too soon, and the CFPB still faces questions about its legitimacy.
One complication is that the CFPB, in true progressive style, has flip-flopped on its position about whether its funding can be considered congressional appropriations or not.
In 2012, CFPB Director Richard Cordray testified to Congress that the bureau operated with “non-appropriated funds.” The CFPB’s 2014 report also claimed its funding was sourced outside of the process of appropriations.
But after being declared unconstitutional, the CFPB reversed its position.
Adam White is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the co-director of George Mason University’s Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State. He gave his opinion on the CFPB’s abrupt shift: “Suddenly, the agency has discovered that all along it did get appropriations. I don’t think the agency has been that foolish for that long. I think they are now suddenly changing their story.”
Comments like that make it seem like the future of the CFPB in its present form is far from a sure thing.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.