Consumer / Financial Protections

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This is a collaborative knowledge base, feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

Recent Updates[edit]

1/19/2017: Recent reporting states that as part of budget cuts, the Trump team plans to cut the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the International Trade Aministration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.[1]
1/18/2017: The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is seeking public input on enforcement guidance addressing unlawful harassment under workplace discrimination laws: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-10-17a.cfm

Trump/GOP Strategy[edit]

Trump has sent mixed messages regarding the federal minimum wage, at one point calling for eliminating the federal minimum wage and at another point supporting increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.[2] The federal minimum wage could only be raised/lowered through legislation passed by Congress.

Trump may act against other key protections for low-income Americans like unemployment insurance and SNAP (food stamps). His childcare proposal (which itself provided disproportionate benefits to the high-income) was supposed to be funded by eliminating unspecific "waste" in unemployment insurance.[3]. On SNAP, he has said the program "shouldn't be needed often" and that "when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud."[4] Since these programs are all means-tested to begin with (they require actively applying and proving eligibility), attempts to "crack down" on fraud predictably make it more difficult to apply and effectively shut more eligible people out of the system. [5]

Dodd-Frank, a law passed after the financial crisis in 2008, which set out to regulate Wall Street and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is likely to come under attack under the Trump administration with banks already gearing up to dismantle parts of it.[6] A recent case has also made it possible for Trump to remove the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without cause.[7] Trump has suggested he will nominate Randy Neugebauer, a vocal critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to lead the agency[8]. The law establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau itself could only be repealed as a result of a new law from Congress.

Projected Impact[edit]

If Randy Neugebauer is confirmed to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he will almost certainly undermine the consumer protections that the agency has helped to ensure. For example, Neugebauer has indicated he'd allow many of the predatory payday lending practices that the CFPB has tried to outlaw[9].

Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy[edit]

Legislation to reduce (or eliminate) the federal minimum wage or dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Board would require 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster, which means Democrats can block such legislation from passing if they are unified in their opposition.

How You Can Resist[edit]

Call your Senators and tell them to vote against confirming Randy Neugebauer, who is strongly anti-consumer/financial protection, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can reach them at tel:(844)872-0234