Republicans Move to Cut Unaccountable Agency from Dodd–Frank

‘Washington created another agency that lacks accountability while presenting real costs for consumers and businesses…’

House Votes to Repeal Onerous Dodd-Frank Law

Barack Obama signs into law the sweeping Dodd–Frank legislation to create significant federal oversight of the financial sector. /IMAGE: YouTube

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Last week, a group of senators introduced a bill that would eliminate an agency—one that could use subpoena power to force banks to turn over data on American spending habits.

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; and Thom Tillis, R-NC, are trying to end the Office of Financial Research.

“The Office of Financial Research is another example of unnecessary government overreach that not only serves as a drain on American taxpayer dollars but also is harmful to hardworking Americans and small business owners,” said Cruz in a press release.

The OFR was established after the 2008 recession in the Dodd–Frank Act and tasked with using quantitative data in order to predict future financial disasters, so that economic calamities might be averted.

But critics of the agency say it is both ineffective and redundant.

OFR survived a 2018 overhaul of Dodd-Frank that eased some regulations on financial institutions.

A companion bill was filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ted Budd, R-NC, who said the OFR, “like many government agencies, was created with a boring name and good intentions.”

But behind the innocuously bureaucratic facade lies a more troublesome reality, Budd said.

“Washington created another agency that lacks accountability while presenting real costs for consumers and businesses,” he said. “For that reason, we’ve introduced a bill to repeal the office.”

Reps. Alex Mooney, R-WV, and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, co-sponsored the House bill.

OFR uses data provided by financial institutions to look at risks to the markets.

While to date this information has been volunteered by the financial institutions, the OFR controversially has subpoena power—one reason that Americans for Tax Reform is leading a coalition of groups supporting the repeal legislation.

In a letter to the members of Congress sponsoring the bill, ATR referred to OFR as “a duplicative and opaque agency created from Dodd–Frank and without congressional oversight,” and noted that roughly 20 other agencies perform the same work.