“Too Popular to Pick a Public Fight With”

Many have probably already seen yesterday's article in the New York Times about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's popularity getting in the way of Republicans' efforts to weaken it, but just in case…

Relying on emails and other documents obtained in public records requests, the article describes the CFPB's strategy to shield itself from the Trump administration. Part of that effort included "compil[ing] stories from ordinary Americans thanking [the agency] for resolving complaints." The agency knew that many of those stories would come from parts of the country that voted for President Trump.

This is not lost on the White House, which has taken an "uncharacteristically low-key public stance toward the agency." Apparently, the administration considered a "high-profile run on the agency," but after "examin[ing] polling data from political bellwether states," it concluded that the CFPB is "too popular to pick a public fight with."

It really shouldn't be a surprise that the CFPB is popular with the public at large. As the article notes, it's returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers in refunds and cancelled debts. And it's helped individual consumers in numerous other ways, including helping remove a disputed property lien, warding off a debt collector pursuing a medical bill that had been paid, and helping resolve a contested credit card debt. Those are real solutions to real problems that people, no matter their political views, can appreciate.

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