Cordray Confirms CFPB's $600 Million Blank Check
In response to questions from Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) during a Committee on Financial Services hearing, Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau confirmed that the Federal Reserve does not review or question the Bureau’s budget requests as long as they are below the allowed spending caps.
Because the Bureau receives its funding directly from the Fed, it is beyond the reach of Congress's power of the purse to rein in its regulatory overreaches and lavish spending. Director Cordray’s testimony raises further concerns that not only is the Bureau unaccountable to Congress, it is also unaccountable to the source of its funding, the Federal Reserve.
Congressman Barr has introduced H.R. 1486, the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending (TABS) Act, which would move funding for the CFPB into the Congressional appropriations process. In doing so, Congress would be able to oversee the Bureau’s budget.
The Bureau has not proven to be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. For example, the Bureau is reportedly spending more than $215 million to renovate its headquarters, in a building it does not own and which is only worth $153 million. A November 2014 review by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office found serious internal accounting deficiencies in the Bureau’s control of its own budget.