CFPB Task Force Chairman Defends Panel’s Report

The chairman of a Trump Administration Consumer Financial Protection Bureau task force defended the group’s final report, even through the Biden Administration has said the agency violated federal law in forming the panel.

“I don’t think we need to be anything but proud of what we produced,” George Mason University law Professor Todd Zywicki told Washington Credit Union Daily.

Zywicki said task force members had nothing to do with the formation of the panel or rules governing it. “We had no input into any of those things,” he said. “We never said we were a federal advisory committee.”

Referring to Kraninger, Zywicki said, “We did what she asked us to do.”

“All of these decisions don’t affect the quality of our work,” he said. “I’m proud of the final report we came up with regardless of the stereotypes they attached to us.”

Former CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger formed the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law last year to examine the state of consumer protection law. Consumer groups immediately charged that Kraninger had loaded the panel with opponents of the CFPB. The groups, including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, Democracy Forward and consumer advocate Kathleen Engel, filed suit, alleging that the task force violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the federal law designed to govern task forces. They also charged that in appointing the members of the task force, Kraninger had ignored consumer advocates.

In settling the suit, the CFPB acknowledged that the task force should have been governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which prescribes how members of committees are selected and requires public deliberation. The task force generally met in private.

The CFPB agreed to add a disclaimer to the report stating that the task force was illegally formed. The CFPB agreed to make the group’s records public.

Zywicki said task force members had nothing to do with the formation of the panel or rules governing it. “We had no input into any of those things,” he said. “We never said we were a federal advisory committee.”

Related:

CFPB Disavows Trump Administration Task Force Report

Consumer Groups Ask Judge to Block Use of CFPB Task Force Recommendations

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