Rep. Schock: Democratically Established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is A "Rogue Agency"

January 05, 2012 8:58 am ET — Brian Powell

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law in 2010 establishes a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB). The new agency's purpose is to supervise banks, credit unions, and other financial companies, enforce federal consumer financial law, and inform and educate the public on their rights. To do this, the bureau needs a leader. But despite the law being passed through the conveyor belt of constitutional checks and balances that constitute the legislative process, Senate Republicans have refused to allow consideration of the president's nominee, Richard Cordray, to head up the CFPB. Republicans made it quite clear that they would not allow any nominee to make it through the approval process unless the law itself was changed.

Yesterday, President Obama took matters into his own hands and made a recess appointment to fill the spot, a move that sent congressional Republicans into conniptions. While some Republicans criticized the constitutionality of the appointment process, others, like Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, revealed their true feelings — that it's the agency's very existence they find abhorrent:

This unprecedented maneuver is an absolute abuse of power by this Administration that will prevent any checks and balances to this rogue agency.

"Rogue agency"? This characterization of the CFPB as being somehow outside the law — when it has yet to even begin its approved work, thanks to prolonged Republican obstructionism — reveals Schock's own lack of respect for the democratic process. In his warped view, an institution that was lawfully established by basic constitutional procedures — approval in the House, approval in the Senate, approval by the president — is somehow wrong and out of control.

The truth is, Schock fell prey to a phenomenon many Americans face on a daily basis — he got outvoted. Most get over it, respect the democratic process and move on. Reasonable members of Congress would try to pass new legislation to change the law. (Schock has done this, and failed.) But few individuals would resort to issuing a pouty statement complaining that, because he doesn't agree with the result, it must have gone "rogue."