House Financial Services Committee Republicans pressure CFPB for budget details

Richard Cordray

In a Wednesday letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, Republicans from the House Financial Services Committee demanded a detailed list of budget documents from the fledgling watchdog agency.

In the letter signed by the HFSC’s Reps. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Cordray was admonished for being “wholly unresponsive” to previous budgetary information requests, The Hill reports.

Since the agency’s creation, opponents have argued that the bureau has far too much power and not enough accountability, as its budget is not subject to the congressional appropriations process.

The CFPB receives funding from the Federal Reserve and is set to receive $547 million this year. While Democrats have defended the arrangement, Republican opponents of the arrangement say that the Fed’s excess funds are transferred to the Treasury Department to assist in deficit reduction, so there is valid justification in overseeing how the CFPB spends money.

“Every dollar the Fed sends to the CFPB is one less dollar that can be used toward deficit reduction,” the letter said, according to The Hill. “It is therefore imperative we monitor the CFPB’s budget to ensure the bureau is, in fact, being held accountable.”

The committee Republicans are specifically asking for the agency to produce detailed budget plans for the 2013 fiscal year, saying that the budget justification previously submitted to Congress is “unnecessarily vague.”

“We will be as responsive as possible to this, and every request we receive from Congress,” Jennifer Howard, a CFPB spokeswoman, said, The Hill reports.

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