On today’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace heralded Holly Petraeus — Gen. David Petraeus’s wife — as his “Power Player of the Week.” Mrs. Petraeus is the new head of the Office of Servicemembers Affairs “which aims to strengthen and support military families financially as part of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (CFPB.) Created by the Wall Street reform law last year, CFPB will give Petraeus a vehicle to “enforce the laws” and “write new rules” in order “to ensure that federal and state agencies coordinate their activities to improve consumer protection measures for military families.” Touting Mrs. Petraeus’s ability “to help military families” through the new bureau, Wallace instructed “military famlies and all the rest of us” to use the CFBP to “register complaints” about fraud:
WALLACE: As part of new financial regulation reform, she’s setting up the office of servicemember affairs to protect military consumers…Petraues says on military bases, there are a lot of young people with guaranteed paychecks on their own for the first time.
PETRAUES: So you add those factors together and it makes them kind of easy pickings for somebody who is looking to rip them off.[…]
WALLACE: Now, as part of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she’ll be able to help military families.
PETRAUES: It’ll give me the power to enforce the laws that are on the books, and also to write rules. […] I had a young CB who had heard me speak come up and tell me — i had been talking about a scam, a secret shopper scam — he said “you just saved us $3,000 dollars.” A moment like that makes you feel it’s all worthwhile.
WALLACE: Military families and all the rest of us can visit a new government website at consumerfinance.gov to register complaints against financial companies.
In his praise of this “Power Player,” Wallace breezed by the other powerful players dedicated to gutting Petraeus’s work on behalf of military families — Republicans. Not one House Republican voted to create the CFPB and now, they want to cut funding for the CFPB “nearly in half” in the new budget. Just last week, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) introduced legislation in the House Financial Services Committee to “hamstring, or defund” CFPB, a goal House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) confirms is a GOP priority. Neugebauer expects the GOP-led House to pass his bill “if and when the proper vehicle arrives.”
The fact that such an effort would undermine help to military families and veterans won’t matter to a party already predisposed to fail in helping the troops. After all, it took considerable outrage from military families for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to finally relent on her draconian cuts to veterans’ benefits. The GOP plan to gut Petraeus’s efforts to help military families, thus, comes as no surprise. The fact that Wallace failed to mention it, however, does.