by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
In 2010, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was passed and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created. The funding for this bureau comes directly from the Federal Reserve and doesn’t have to go through the congressional appropriations process.
The bureau is housed in a 36 year old building that used to be the home to the Office of Thrift Supervision, which was closed as part of the 2010 financial crisis legislation. Officials from the new bureau said the building needed significant renovations. Originally the expected cost of the renovations was to be $95 million when the project was announced in early 2013. By the end of 2013 the cost had increased to $145.1 million and now the cost is $215.8 million. To put that into perspective, that’s about $590 per square foot.
Here are some quotes from the top members of the House Financial Services Committee from an LA Times article:
“When they passed the Dodd-Frank Act, Democrats in Congress and the White House made the CFPB unaccountable to taxpayers and to Congress,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a leading bureau critic. “We’re seeing the results of this dangerous unaccountability today in a Washington bureaucracy that is running amok, spending as much as it wants on whatever it wants,” he said. “It’s outrageous.”
“The continuously growing price tag is a tremendous waste of funds and, amazingly, there is still no assurance the $216-million price tag won’t grow higher,” McHenry (R- NC) said.
If you want to read more about this, here is an article from the Washington Examiner.