Critics of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the secretive, Obama administration-created agency that oversees the U.S. Justice Department's Operation Choke Point, won a small but key victory this week.
The House on Wednesday passed the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act. The bill with the long name would require the director of the CFPB to create a Small Business Advisory Council within the shadowy agency and codify the previously established Credit Union Advisory Council and the Community Bank Advisory Council.
It now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
While the bill creates more layers of government, it provides what critics claim is some much needed , real-world counsel to an agency that operates with little oversight.
"An agency as powerful as the CFPB will benefit from the advice of small businesses, community banks and credit unions," Financial Services Committee ChairmanJeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said in a statement. "The CFPB should listen to them so it can issue smart regulations rather than dumb regulations that harm Main Street America."
CFPB, assisted by several other financial services regulators, has drawn political heat for its leadership role in Attorney General Eric Holder's Operation Choke Point, an initiative targeting merchants that don't fit into the Obama administration's idea of what an American business ought to be.
Two retailers have told Watchdog.org their horror stories about being caught in the cross hairs of the multi-agency effort ostensibly aimed at going after unlawful consumer fraud by "choking" off access to banking systems.