McHenry grills CFPB Director Cordray over relationship with White House

Patrick McHenry

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) recently expressed concern in a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray regarding the agency’s working relationship with the White House.

“The CFPB occupies a position within our government in which ‘its duties are performed without executive leave and…must be free from executive control…’” McHenry said. “It appears from information available…that the CFPB has maintained a close relationship with political components of the executive branch.”

McHenry, who chairs the House Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, pointed to three meetings between Cordray and the White House on Jan. 6, May 10 and June 5.

McHenry added that White House visitor logs reveal that CFPB staff have met regularly with White House officials.

“Although employees of other independent agencies meet with White House staff members and such meetings are not per se inappropriate, the frequency of the CFPB’s visits and the CFPB’s coordinated public events with the White House could suggest that the Bureau’s regulatory actions are indirectly shaped by these interactions,” McHenry said. “These actions also undermine the Bureau’s ability to develop a reputation as a fair and impartial actor in the eyes of those regulated by the CFPB.”

McHenry urged the watchdog agency to evaluate its relationship with the White House. McHenry further requested that Cordray provide the subcommittee with answers to questions related to the agency’s relationship with the executive branch and to provide supporting documents by July 16.

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