EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cruz Moves to Abolish ‘Useless’ Federal Agency Created by Dodd-Frank

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FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill Wednesday aiming to abolish a federal agency that arguably duplicates work that other agencies already do and that does not rely on Congress for its funding.

Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., filed the bill to abolish the Office of Financial Research, an agency within the Department of the Treasury created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. (Then-Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and then-Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., co-authored the legislation, which then-President Barack Obama signed in 2010.) The Cruz bill surgically amends federal law to remove the authorization for the office, which Cruz argues is unnecessary since other federal agencies already do the work under the office’s purview.

“We need to rein in bureaucratic overreach by the federal government,” Cruz said in a press release first provided to The Daily Signal. “By eliminating useless and unaccountable offices like the Office of Financial Research, we will better serve the people of Texas, and other Americans the federal government is designed to serve. I am proud to lead this effort in the Senate with Sen. Braun, as we work to put American taxpayers first.”

Cruz, along with Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., filed a similar bill in 2019. Reps. Ted Budd, R-N.C., Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, filed the companion bill in the House of Representatives. (Budd has since become a U.S. senator.) The bill never received a vote in the Democratic-controlled 116th Congress.

A coalition of conservative groups led by Americans for Tax Reform supported the 2019 Cruz bill, arguing that it would complete a 2018 law reforming Dodd-Frank. The groups noted that the Office of Financial Research’s “mission is to support the Financial Stability Oversight Council and its member agencies by collecting and analyzing data and risk toward financial markets. However, this objective already exists within roughly 20 other agencies, departments, bureaus and committees, most notably within the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve.”

The office enjoys subpoena power in order to obtain financial documents that other agencies also acquire, a situation that raises “serious concerns regarding data and privacy security,” the conservative groups warned.

The conservatives also noted that the office “is funded outside the appropriations process, receiving its funding through fees collected from predominantly bank holding companies and some non-financial companies with little oversight of how the fees are spent.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has opposed efforts to roll back Dodd-Frank, urged the Office of Financial Research to “fully utilize its statutory authorities to safeguard our financial system” after the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in April.

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The post EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cruz Moves to Abolish ‘Useless’ Federal Agency Created by Dodd-Frank appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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