Rep. Barr reintroduces act to make CFPB spending accountable to Congress

First introduced March 2015

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., reintroduced the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending (TABS) Act on Friday in attempts to make the budget of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau subject to congressional appropriations.

As it stands, the CFPB is funded directly by the Federal Reserve, which the Trump administration has also vocalized it supports changing.

“I am reintroducing the TABS Act because the Bureau deserves the same scrutiny and the same checks and balances as any other federal agency,” said Barr.  “Congressional oversight and accountability will ensure that the Bureau stays true to its mission of consumer protection, and avoids politically motivated overreaches, wasteful spending, and unnecessary regulations.”

Earlier this year, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the administration is “absolutely on board with” changing CFPB’s current funding process through the Federal Reserve to one of Congressional appropriations, according to an article by Joe Light in Bloomberg.

“Such a move would give Congress more control over the agency, which was formed in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms enacted after the 2007-08 financial crisis,” the article stated.

Barr first introduced the act in March 2015. According to the summery of the bill, “This bill amends the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to eliminate provisions that fund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau using transfers from the earnings of the Federal Reserve System. The transfers under current law permit the CFPB to be funded outside of the annual appropriations process, and this bill brings the CFPB into the regular process.”

House Republicans are also currently pushing the Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, led by Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

The Financial CHOICE act is currently one of the top options to replace the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is on its way to the full House for a vote.

According to the Financial CHOICE Act, “In accordance with Section 1017 of the Dodd-Frank Act, in order to obtain funding, the Director need only submit a letter to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve each quarter certifying the amount of funds determined by the Director to be reasonably necessary for carrying out the authorities of the Bureau. The Federal Reserve then transfers the stated amount to the Bureau for operations. The Bureau’s funding is therefore different from that of other regulators that police markets for force and fraud, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – all of which are funded principally through congressional appropriations.”

Barr’s act would put the CFPB on the same level as the regulators listed above. 

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