Barr reintroduces legislation to bring transparency to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Seeking to hold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) accountable to taxpayers, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) reintroduced legislation last week that would make the government agency’s budget subject to the congressional appropriations process for the first time.

The Federal Reserve directly funds the CFPB under current law, and Barr’s Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending (TABS) Act would bring the CFPB’s budget into the congressional appropriations process to enhance oversight and transparency.

“I am reintroducing the TABS Act because the bureau deserves the same scrutiny and the same checks and balances as any other federal agency,” Barr said. “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.”

The CFPB was created after the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from unfair practices and take action against predatory companies that break the law.

During a House Financial Services Committee hearing last year, Barr questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about oversight of CFPB’s more than $600 million budget. Yellen confirmed that the Federal Reserve does not approve CFPB’s budget or have authority to veto CFPB appropriations requests.

“Given the history of regulatory overreach and questionable spending by the bureau, it is awfully discouraging that their budget is not overseen by Congress or even by the source of their funding, the Federal Reserve,” Barr said during the hearing in February 2016. “We need to fix this problem by passing the TABS Act which I introduced to put the bureau in the appropriations process so that Congress can oversee the bureau’s budget and hold them accountable through the power of the purse for the first time.”