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Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren asks House Republicans to ease up on CFPB

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic hopeful vying for Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) seat in Congress, recently called on congressional Republicans to scale back on attempts to limit the power of the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren assisted in designing the bureau when she served as the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s special advisor to the secretary of the U.S. Treasury, MassLive reports.

Recently, the CFPB has been the target of criticism regarding its funding. The agency is currently funded through the Federal Reserve and is set to receive $547 million this year.

Some Democrats, including Warren, argue that the CFPB’s funding should remain independent of the congressional appropriations process to ensure the agency’s integrity and prevent coercion by political leaders.

“The House Republicans are engaged in a backdoor attempt to weaken consumer protection and water down oversight,” Warren said, according to MassLive. “If Congress really cares about middle class families—and the health of our entire economy—it must ensure there is real accountability for Wall Street.”

Republicans from the House Financial Services Committee recently requested that the CFPB provide detailed budget plans, a request with which the agency is expected to be fully compliant.

Warren also called for justice for Americans hurt by the 2008 financial collapse, adding that the parties responsible for the meltdown should be punished.

“More than three years since the greatest financial crisis in generations, working families are still suffering from unemployment, underwater mortgages and other economic pressures while there has still been no real accountability for the people who broke this economy,” Warren said, MassLive reports. “The people whose illegal actions are responsible for this crisis need to be prosecuted and thrown in jail. We need a cop on the beat to make sure no one steals your purse on Main Street and no one steals your pension on Wall Street.”

A task forced formed by the Justice Department following the economic crisis is reportedly using a federal statute, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, to prosecute those responsible for the crisis. This little-known law, passed after the savings-and-loan scandals of the 1980s, requires a lower burden of proof and has a longer statute of limitations than other financial legislation.

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