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Van Voorhis: Sen. Warren exploits Equifax hack to set up new CFPB power grab

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Sen. Elizabeth H. Warren (D.-Mass.) and Sen. Brian E. Schatz (D.-Hawaii) have proposed the Freedom From Equifax Exploitation Act, but the real exploitation is Warren and her co-sponsor leveraging Equifax’s breach of personal information to expand the reach of Warren’s own creation: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For people, who have not heard of the CFPB, this rogue agency has morphed from its original intention of protecting consumers to becoming an agency that fights for powerful interests under the guise of consumer protection.

According to Forbes:

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[The CFPB] has issued contentious rules, tortured data to make other rules, engaged in an extravagant spending spree, and even found itself blasted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for employment discrimination. Nobody has ever made a strong case that the pre-Dodd-Frank framework failed, much less that a new federal agency was necessary to protect consumers. CFPB advocates act as though there would be no consumer protection in financial markets without this government agency, but that’s demonstrably false.

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Warren’s FREE Act would open the door to excessive regulation of a credit industry that provides a critical service to the markets.

The FREE Act mandates that credit agencies provide credit freezes and unfreezes free of charge, in addition to a number of other huge regulatory increases.

The bill seems innocent enough on the surface, but the broader intentions of Warren’s bill take a bit of deeper digging to find.

Warren has said she is intent on transforming the entire industry and the ultimate goal argued that this whole industry should be completely transformed,” she didn’t mean it lightly. This is simply the first of many steps in a federal takeover of the financial reporting industry.

If many Americans no longer trust Equifax with their personal information, then they would be no wiser to trust the federal government with their personal information.

Only the federal government and crony capitalist lobbyists, not consumers, will benefit from this new legislation.

After what was undoubtedly a horrific breach of consumer privacy, something must be done. Conservatives should support a free market-oriented solution to this problem, instead of an ineffective left-wing power grab.

Luckily, we already have an example to follow.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have proposed a more balanced bill, PA House Bill 1847, that could serve as a model for federal law. The bill outlines specific policies for dealing with credit breaches, and requires that credit agencies affected by a breach provide free credit monitoring for three years.

This is a smarter solution because instead of blanketly forcing all credit agencies to provide free credit monitoring, under the stern supervision of the CFPB no less, it incentivizes credit companies to increase their security and avoid a costly breach.

House and Senate Republicans need to vote down Warren’s the FREE Act, and introduce conservative legislation at the federal level that gives power back to the consumers, instead of to the bloated CFPB.

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Congress Uses Fake Russia-Taliban Report as Excuse to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Another victory for the war party.

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Democrats are seizing upon a fake news report alleging that Russia has funded Taliban mercenaries to kill U.S. soldiers in order to make it more difficult for troops to be pulled from Afghanistan, thus undermining President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.

The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to make it more difficult for Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan. It would force several certifications to be met before Trump could bring troops home. Republicans in the committee joined the Democrats to undermine Trump with the approval of this National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the neoconservative who supports Bush-era globalism, said the measure “lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what’s required for our own security, not based on political timelines.” It was approved by a 45-11 vote.

The amendment requires an assessment to determine whether or not “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives” before troops can be removed from the country.

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Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) bragged about how the measure will make sure the U.S. does not leave the region and more American lives are put in jeopardy for a war effort that is largely recognized to be a lost cause.

“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal [Trump] got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is the most eloquent voice for an “America First” foreign policy in the House, opposed the measure because of its obvious implications against peace.

“A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said. “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow.

“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”

The defense industry is pushing the Russia bogeyman yet again, in order to create xenophobic outrage and a pretense to keep troops occupying in the region. The Pentagon has reported that Russia is trying to expedite the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but they are painting this news as if it is a bad thing.

“As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries, and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a U.S. military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal,” a report from the Pentagon said.

“Russia has politically supported the Taliban to cultivate influence with the group, limit the Western military presence, and encourage counter ISIS operations, although Russia publicly denies their involvement,” they added.

The political establishment, including the military-industrial complex, is pulling out all the stops to sabotage President Trump and deprive him of achieving his goals before November’s election.

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