Until now, attempts to reform how the CFPB is funded have been the domain of the U.S. House of Representatives. But two weeks ago, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) joined the effort, using a budget amendment intended to put the bureau under congressional oversight and make it subject to the appropriations process. The senator’s amendment was approved by the budget committee and now is included in the Senate’s budget resolution.
In his news release, Sen. Perdue used tough language to characterize the CFPB, calling it “reckless” and a “rogue agency.”
Will Sen. Perdue’s alternative approach to “reining in” the CFPB be more effective than the legislative process launched in the House? Probably not. Although it’s plausible the amendment may survive the reconciliation process between the House and Senate budget committees, the amendment isn’t binding and doesn’t have the force of law. And, significantly, the President—a strong supporter of the CFPB—is not required to follow it, which he won’t.
The CFPB is funded primarily from the Fed’s operating budget, with certain caps, and its budget is not subject to congressional approval. In 2014, the bureau’s budget was $498 million, and its 2015 budget is $582 million. Early last month, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) reintroduced a CFPB reform package in coordination with colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee. One of bills in the package, HR 1261, would subject the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process.
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