Politics & Money

Hensarling tells CFPB to ditch costly office renovations

First attack of new Congressional session shows criticism not going away

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau came under intense fire for its $215 million headquarters renovation in mid-2014.

The bureau, a creation mandated by Dodd-Frank, vastly exceeded its budget on renovations to an office building that the CFPB doesn’t own.

Just one week into the new Congress, the head of the House Financial Services Committee is letting the CFPB know the issue isn’t over.

Reuters has the story.

A top Republican lawmaker on Monday urged the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to abandon the renovation of its Washington building and find cheaper office space, a sign critics intend to keep up scrutiny of the agency this year.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said in a letter to bureau Director Richard Cordray that scrapping the renovation would save money.

Republicans have criticized the consumer bureau for policy and management decisions since it opened in 2011, and the office revamp has been a key focus. A government watchdog last July said the plans did not follow the CFPB's internal guidelines.

"The American people expect federal agencies to be responsible stewards of the funds entrusted to them," Hensarling said in the letter, which was obtained by Reuters. "I trust that you will make the responsible financial decision."

A spokesman told HousingWire that the CFPB is reviewing the letter.

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