Attorney General Morrisey Joins Effort to Push Back Against Biden Administration’s Unlawful Consumer Finance Policy

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, along with 13 other attorneys general, filed a brief Wednesday in opposition to a new rule implemented by the Biden administration’s Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

This new rule seeks to unlawfully expand the CFPB’s authority to encompass many practices that Congress chose not to grant the agency with the power to regulate, including the investigation and punishment of all acts of supposed discrimination in the consumer finance industry.

“It’s really very simple: these unelected bureaucrats can only function within the authority and limits provided to them by Congress,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Anything beyond that is overreach. I will do everything I can within the confines of the law to stop any kind of federal encroachment.”

As passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Dodd-Frank Act provides the CFPB with specific authorities for regulating the consumer finance industry.

The law does not allow for the agency to investigate or punish general discrimination. Despite this limitation, the CFPB has claimed the power to police all acts of discrimination, as defined by the agency, which could include even so-called disparate impact claims. This novel rule was introduced as part of a supposedly routine update to the CFPB’s examination manual and without any opportunity for public notice and comment.

In their amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler Division), the attorneys general argue that the rule:

  • Exceeds the authority of the CFPB.
  • Illegally bypassed notice and comment.
  • Seeks to avoid judicial review. 

Attorney General Morrisey joined the Georgia-led brief with attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.