Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 18, 2017

Dueling Trump and CFPB Regulatory Agendas

By David Reiss

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a bureaucratic-sounding but very important office within the Office of Management and Budget, released the Trump Administration’s Introduction to the Fall 2017 Regulatory Plan last week. While Trump’s plan is heavily focused on deregulation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Fall 2017 Statement of Regulatory Priorities is marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Trump’s plan opens,

Following statutory directions, the Executive Branch implements many federal policies through regulatory action in areas as diverse as homeland security, environmental protection, energy policy, transportation, federal land management, education, and commerce. Over many decades, federal agencies have imposed countless regulatory requirements on individuals, businesses, landowners, and state and local governments. Some of these regulations serve important public purposes. Other regulations, however, are outdated, duplicative, or unnecessary, yet they continue to impose costly burdens. President Trump has committed to reducing the regulatory burden on the American public in order to promote economic growth, job creation, and innovation.

This Fall 2017 Regulatory Plan reflects a fundamental shift. The Trump Administration recognizes that excessive and unnecessary federal regulations limit individual freedom and suppress the innovation and entrepreneurship that make America great. Starting with confidence in private markets and individual choices, this Administration is reassessing existing regulatory burdens. In the 2017 Plan, Agencies have identified regulatory actions ripe for reform and are working to eliminate or modify them. This Administration also approaches the imposition of new regulatory requirements with caution to ensure that regulations are consistent with law, necessary to correct a substantial market failure, and net beneficial to the public. Furthermore, the Plan, along with the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (“Agenda”), identifies the Administration’s priorities in manner that is transparent and accessible to the public.

Our regulatory philosophy and approach emphasize the connection between limited government intervention and individual liberty. Regulatory policy should serve the American people by staying within legal limits and administering the law with respect for due process and fair notice. The 2017 Plan sets forth the Administration’s roadmap for a more limited, effective, and accountable regulatory policy. (1)

This deregulatory plan is consistent with one of President Trump’s first Executive Orders, #13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs).

The CFPB’s Statement of Regulatory Priorities, likely drafted prior to Director Cordray’s departure and the ensuing battle for control of the Bureau, reflects an active regulatory agenda, including possible rules regarding payday loans, debt collection and overdraft programs on checking accounts.

The contrast between Trump’s Regulatory Plan and the CFPB’s Statement of Regulatory Priorities provides a clear contrast to what is at stake in the battle for control of the Bureau.

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