Committee Passes Bill to Subject CFPB to Appropriations Process

April 15, 2016

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the House Financial Services Committee considered and passed out of committee, H.R. 1486, the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending (TABS) Act sponsored by Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) by a party-line vote of 33-20. The bill would increase accountability and oversight over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by subjecting it to the annual Congressional appropriations process. Currently, the CFPB is funded by a budget request from the Bureau’s director through the Federal Reserve.

“Every government agency should be accountable to the elected representatives of ‘We the People’ and the CFPB should not be an exception to that rule,” Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said. “We should not let the CFPB write its own budget. It is a base matter of congressional oversight and of Article I authority.”  Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) in response expressed her disapproval of the approach arguing that the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, NCUA, OCC, and FHFA are not subject to the appropriations process as well, which affords the agencies to remain independent and free from the “whims of Congress that cannot pass a budget,” insisting the TABS Act was intended to “repeal the very existence of the Bureau.”

The bill would authorize funding for the bureau at $485.1 million, the same amount requested by Director Cordray for FY2016.