WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – is calling for the firing of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) political appointee Eric Blankenstein after the Washington Post uncovered a past blog where Blankenstein has posted bigoted writings on race, hate crimes and women. In his current role as Policy Director at CFPB, Blankenstein is charged with enforcing consumer protection laws, including laws in place to prevent lending discrimination.
“These blog posts are hateful, reprehensible and disgusting. Placing Blankenstein in charge of fair lending was a serious moral and managerial failure, and he must go,” said Brown. “The CFPB should be on the front lines of fighting and preventing predatory lending practices including very real financial discrimination that happens all too often in America today. There can be no place at the agency for people who don’t believe discrimination is real or a serious problem.”
The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has jurisdiction over the CFPB. Senator Brown joined with Ranking Member Maxine Waters earlier this year to condemn Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s decision to weaken the CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity. Senator Brown also led Democrats in opposing Congress’s repeal of CFPB guidelines that protected against discrimination in car loans. The Senator has repeatedly called for full funding for fair housing programs, including the Fair Housing Initiatives Program, to identify and address housing discrimination. In 2013, Senator Brown also introduced the HOME Act, which would prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or source of income. He is a cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.