WASHINGTON—Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and four Republican colleagues say its time to “rein-in” the “lavish” salaries made by hundreds of employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
“The CFPB is a dangerously unaccountable agency, and its lavish spending on employee salaries is just one example,” Enzi said Tuesday in a statement announcing the bill.
The measure — “The CFPB Pay Fairness Act” — is co-sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and David Perdue of Georgia.
“There is little that elected representatives can do to oversee the unelected bureaucrats in charge of CFPBs operations, except to ask questions and hope to get answers,” Enzi continued.
“The agency essentially runs on autopilot, unaccountable to any branch of government. This common-sense legislation would be one step toward bringing much-needed oversight and transparency to the CFPB,” he said.
The CFPB was created by President Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Instead of making it an executive branch agency subject to congressional oversight, the CFPB answers to the Federal Reserve Board, which also funds it, making CFPB virtually a regulatory island unto itself, answerable to no elected assembly.
The bureau regulates banks, credit card companies, mortgage firms, securities companies, debt collectors and other financial institutions offering consumer products.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) conceived CFPB and first proposed it in 2007 while teaching at Harvard. She then became an assistant to Obama and was CFPBs chief advocate in working with Congress during its creation. She began serving as a junior senator from Massachusetts in 2013.
The bureaus novel regulatory and oversight status made it controversial from the day it opened its doors in 2011 with former Ohio Democratic Attorney General Richard Cordray as its director.
The extremely high salaries paid to many CFPB employees have been a particularly frequent target of critics. In 2017, an investigation by the Daily Caller News Foundations (DCNF) watchdog team found that “pay is flowing so generously at CFPB that hundreds of bureaucrats there receive more than most members of Congress.” Congressional pay was then $174,000 annually for most senators and representatives.
The DCNF also found that 201 CFPB employees made more than the $193,000 then paid Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Another 170 CFPB employees earn more than the secretaries of defense and state, the attorney general and the Director of National Intelligence,” the DCNF said. Cabinet salaries are capped at $199,700.
Thirty-nine CFPB employees are paid higher salaries than the $230,000 earned each year by Vice President Mike Pence. Then-Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellins $201,700 annual salary was lower than those paid 198 CFPB employees, according to the DCNF investigation.
“The CFPB is long-overdue for more accountability and oversight from Congress and allowing their federal bureaucrats to make significantly more money than other federal workers should end immediately,” Tillis said in the statement.
“This legislation would rightfully end this senseless waste and ensure CFPB employees are under the federal pay scale like every other government agency,” according to Tillis.
“Folks shouldnt get into government to make a quick buck,” Sasse said in the statementRead More – Source