At sister blog The Locker Room, JLF’s Sarah Curry points out new data that shows the latest cost estimate to renovate the building across the street from the White House — which now houses the unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — is $210 million. From the Washington Examiner comes the story of what happens when unaccountable bureaucrats are given other people’s money to spend.
That’s more than double last year’s estimate of $95 million. The original budget number was $55 million in 2010.
The new cost estimates put it at $590 per square foot. Congressional critics have previously complained in hearings that the new CFPB building would a be “palace,” more opulent than Trump World Tower (whose construction costs were $334 per square foot), Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel and Casino ($330 per square foot) and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa ($450 per square foot).
Bialek’s conclusions were sent to Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., in a Monday letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Examiner. McHenry, the chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, requested the IG investigation Jan. 29.
And then this:
In a statement, McHenry compared the bureau’s failure to produce documentation to the Internal Revenue Service scandal, in which emails on hard drives were lost for seven IRS officials implicated in targeting conservative groups.
“Now we learn the bureau, presumably taking a page out of the IRS’ playbook, has lost the documentation showing who actually gave final approval for this massive waste,” McHenry said.
The Examiner has a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pending before U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia because of CFPB’s refusal to disclose renovation records.
The IG reviewed three different cost estimates. One was a $55 million figure published in CFPB’s 2011 budget justification.
During congressional testimony earlier this year, CFPB Director Richard Cordray claimed the $55 million figure was “a Washington Examiner fiction.”
Fiction? I’d say Mr. Cordray owes Rep. McHenry — and every federal taxpayer — a huge apology.