Last October, a three-judge panel attempted to make it easier to remove the director of the consumer agency, allowing the president to fire the director at will. The full federal appeals court decided that it will revisit the issue at a hearing in May, effectively scrapping this earlier decision, and allowing the CFPB’s structure to continue as Congress intended.
Starting this week, the 115th Congress began work dismantling public protections for American workers, consumers, and families. NCLR has a history of being active in the regulatory process with significant success. This includes a final overtime rule that will benefit two million Latino workers, and a rule ensuring that retirement advisors make decisions in their client’s best interest. These rules will help millions of Latinos and other workers get more for their hard work.
So why would Congress want to eliminate these and other crucial protections? Well, some say that regulations cost the economy jobs and stymie growth. However, recent economic trends suggest otherwise:
The economy is on a record of 75 consecutive months of job growth.
Unemployment is down to 4.7% from a pre-recession peak of 10%, and wages are rising.
Median household income increased in 2015 and poverty rates fell, with the Latino poverty rate being the lowest since 2006.
By Renato R. Rocha, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, NCLR
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit decided against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), making it easier to remove the director, who serves as head of the Bureau. If the decision stands, it will undermine what the CFPB was created to do in the aftermath of the Great Recession—protect consumers—since the director could be removed by the president without cause.
A challenge to the director’s authority is a challenge to CFPB itself. Since the CFPB opened its doors five years ago, it has become clear that the Bureau is exactly what consumers needed, and consumers overwhelming support its work. The CFPB now has authority to regulate a range of industries that previously lacked transparency, including remittance transfers, credit cards, student loan servicing, and payday loans. In order for the Bureau to continue its essential work on behalf of families, the CFPB needs to remain autonomous.
By Sabrina Terry, Program Manager, Wealth-Building Initiative, NCLR
For many foreign-born Americans, becoming U.S. citizens is an important turning point in their journey for better economic opportunities. With citizenship, an immigrant has access to better jobs, including many public sector jobs. According to the American Immigration Council, immigrants earn 8–11 percent more money once becoming citizens. As such, employment is a common driver for immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens. In fact, most immigrants come to the United States as working-age adults—between the ages of 18 and 60—hoping to support themselves and their families. By becoming a citizen, an immigrant’s economic outlook increases dramatically and is a critical step in their wealth-building journey; this is particularly true for low-income Latino immigrants.
Wealth is a key component of the American Dream; a necessary step to achieve security and take part in opportunities in the United States. Unfortunately, as it stands, there is a widening racial wealth gap in the United States. In 2013, Whites had 13 times more wealth than a Black family and 10 times the wealth of a Latino family. Furthermore, many Latino immigrant families are already at a disadvantage, as they tend to have lower incomes and struggle to establish savings, let alone build wealth.
What Palomarez’s article fails to mention is that payday lenders specifically target communities of color, and their business model creates a vicious cycle of debt that is difficult for most borrowers to escape. In fact, the typical payday loan carries an exorbitant 391 percent APR, is given to borrowers without consideration of their ability to pay it back, and with direct access to their bank account.