Congress Urges Tribal Consultation at Federal Agency

Jul 24, 2019 | Congressional Legislation, Federal Regulation, FinTech, News

Earlier today, a congressional delegation sent a letter to Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), urging the CFPB to adhere to the agency’s policy on Tribal Consultation. The signers of the letter include Tom Cole (OK), Sean Duffy (WI), Frank Lucas (OK), Markwayne Mullin (OK), and Scott Tipton (CO).

The letter began by stating the importance of Tribal Consultation and implored the CFPB to engage in meaningful dialogue with Tribes. “As members of Congress, it is our job to ensure that Tribal governments, as sovereigns to whom the United States owes trust obligations, are given a voice during the federal rulemaking process,” the letter said. “We implore the Bureau, under your leadership, to actively and consistently consult with Indian tribes on a government to government basis on any and all matters affecting tribal nations, consistent with the requirements of the Bureau’s Tribal Consultation Policy.”

The CFPB, like many federal and state agencies, has a Tribal Consultation policy meant to inform government officials on proper engagement with Tribes when they propose new or amended policies, regulations, or programs that would either directly apply to Tribes or would have direct implications for Indian Tribes. 

Despite this policy, the CFPB rarely meet with Tribes or their designated representatives. In fact, the CFPB has yet to hold a Tribal Consultation in 2018 even though the CFPB is supposed to be “committed to regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials,” per the Tribal Consultation Policy.

Tribes stand ready to meet and engage in meaningful conversation with all federal regulators, including those at the CFPB. Hopefully, the Congressional letter will remind and encourage Director Kraninger and other CFPB leadership to meet with Tribes and their designated representatives.

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