News Column

Johanns Calls for Transparency, Oversight of CFPB Budget

June 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 10 -- The office of Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., issued the following news release:

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today questioned Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray on the details of his agency's budget, especially aspects that have nothing to do with the agency's mission of protecting consumers.

During his remarks, Johanns requested a thorough accounting of the lavish renovation costs associated with CFPB's leased office space.

Cordray admitted the architect's description of the renovation was embarrassing after Johanns questioned him on the extravagant waterfall features and granite slabs the new headquarters will have. According to an appraisal done in 2011, CFPB's leased headquarters is valued at approximately $154 million yet some estimates put the renovation costs alone as high as $185 million.

* "Do you think that kind of spending is really reasonably necessary to carry out your functions?"

During the Banking Committee's hearing, Johanns also raised his concerns with the lack of oversight of CFPB's budget. As currently structured, CFPB is funded through the Federal Reserve and the only restriction on the bureau's spending is that their budget cannot exceed 12 percent of the Federal Reserve's budget.

* "I've argued for some time that there should be more oversight [of CFPB's] budget process," Johanns said. "In fact there isn't much limitation under the law - you can request up to 12 percent of the Federal Reserve's operating budget ... And I think that's very problematic."

Full video of Johanns' opening remarks is available HERE.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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