House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) called on the CFPB to end its closed-door meeting policy for its four advisory councils in honor of “Sunshine Week,” a national media initiative aimed at promoting open government.
“Instead of operating behind closed doors, it’s time for the CFPB to live up to its oft-stated commitment to transparency and openness,” Hensarling said. “In the interest of true, genuine transparency and open government, Director Cordray can and should use ‘Sunshine Week’ to take immediate steps that bring the CFPB into the sunlight.”
CFPB Director Richard Cordray has said in the past that the agency is committed to transparency in its guidance and rulemaking process. One man, however, is suing the agency after he was allegedly turned away from a CFPB hearing in Mississippi, according to The Daily Caller.
Hensarling has been an outspoken critic of the CFPB and its practices, calling the agency one of the least accountable in U.S. history. He pointed to a recent report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, which found the agency’s use of a closed-door guidance has caused the quality of its guidance to suffer and that relying on an open-door policy would not “significantly [delay] the guidance.”
CFPB Director Richard Cordray has said that federal law mandating open meetings for government agencies does not apply to the CFPB.
“This is completely unacceptable and further proves that the CFPB is unaccountable to the very people it is supposed to serve,” Hensarling said. “The American people deserve better. Every Washington bureaucracy, including the CFPB, must be accountable to hardworking taxpayers.”