Kennedy to Biden admin’s CFPB: “Why do you want to know what a small business woman’s sexual preference is?”
Jun 13 2023
Watch Kennedy’s exchange here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today questioned Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its rule to implement Dodd Frank Section 1071. The Biden administration rule would require banks to collect data on small business owners when they seek a loan.
Key excerpts from the exchange are below.
Kennedy: “Is your rule going to require banks to ask the customer about their race?”
Chopra: “So, that is in the statute—"
. . .
Kennedy: “Your rule would require a bank to ask the question of a small business person, ‘What's your race? What's your ethnicity? What's your sexual preference? Are you gay? Are you a woman?’
“Now, that’s—you can bubble-wrap this all you want, but that’s what your rule does.
“Now, the customer—particularly in a small town—is going to go, ‘Woah, what’s my sexual preference have to do with a loan?’
“And the customer can say, ‘I don't want to answer,’ but then the bank has got—you're requiring the bank to tell you that they wouldn't answer, and all of this data is going to go to your agency, and, we don't have the slightest idea how you're going to use it, except you say you're going to publish it.”
Chopra: “Well, we will not get any names at all . . . ”
Kennedy: “Yeah, but you're going to have data sets, so that it's possible—you can't tell me it's not possible to have this information known. Why do you want all this information?”
Chopra: “I don't—”
Kennedy: “Why do you want to know what a small business woman's sexual preference is?”
Chopra: “Okay, that's a mischaracterization of it.”
Kennedy: “No, it’s not.”
. . .
Kennedy: “Why do you want to know what a small business woman—let's say in a town of 20,000 people, going to her local bank [to] borrow money—why do you want to know what her sexual preference is? What business is that of yours?”
Chopra: “We sought to implement what the congressional requirements are—"
Kennedy: “What business is that of yours, what a small business woman does in her bedroom?”
Kennedy: “Who appointed you pope?”
Chopra: “Again, people are able to self-identify, if they wish.”
Kennedy: “You're making them.”
Chopra: “We are not making them.”
Kennedy: “Yes, you are . . . and we have no idea how you’re going to use this information.”
- Kennedy today introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to the CFPB rule to implement Dodd Frank Section 1071, which amends the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).
- Kennedy introduced the Transparency in CFPB Cost-Benefit Analysis Act to ensure that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) does not establish regulations that would foist unreasonable costs or harms onto taxpayers, financial entities or consumers.
- Kennedy introduced the Small LENDER Act to block the Biden administration’s CFPB from requiring community banks and lenders to collect and report social data—such as race, gender and ethnicity—from borrowers.
Watch the full exchange here.