Hagerty, Colleagues Reintroduce Legislation to Subject the CFPB to Regular Congressional Appropriations Process

June 13, 2024

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Banking Committees, yesterday reintroduced the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Accountability Act

The legislation, which Hagerty first introduced in 2021, would make the agency accountable to the American people by requiring that its funding be appropriated by Congress, as is the case for other Executive Branch agencies. Currently, the Federal Reserve is required to provide whatever funding that the CFPB requests within certain limits, a highly unusual arrangement that allows the CFPB to avoid the fiscal accountability to which the rest of the Executive Branch is subject. 

“The CFPB must be required to go through the regular congressional appropriations process to ensure public accountability,” said Senator Hagerty. “As a lifelong businessman, protecting consumers in the financial marketplace is important, but handing vast government regulatory power to an agency that is not accountable to the American people’s elected representatives is unacceptable. Americans deserve to have far greater input in this agency.”

“Under Director Chopra, the CFPB continues to brush aside congressional concerns, forge ahead with political agendas, and push past the boundaries of its authority – all to the detriment of the consumers it’s supposed to protect,” said Ranking Member Scott. “By subjecting the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process, this legislation will increase accountability and help Congress ensure the agency stays true to its mission.”

“The CFPB has continued to operate as a partisan, rogue regulator, acting far outside of its congressional mandate and without any true accountability to Congress,” said Senator Britt. “This commonsense legislation would ensure the Bureau is held accountable to the American people by subjecting it to the congressional appropriations process.”

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a single-director agency which is less accountable to Congress because it is not subject to the regular appropriations process like other federal agencies,” said Senator Cramer. “I joined Senator Hagerty in introducing this legislation to allow for increased congressional oversight of this aggressive agency and ensure the people’s elected representatives have more say over the decisions coming out of Washington.”

“The bureaucratic state is always trying to grab more power and minimize its accountability,” said Senator Kennedy. “CFPB bureaucrats don’t rely on Congress for funding—which means the bureau isn’t accountable to American taxpayers in key ways. That needs to change.”

“President Biden has created a bloated government that is a regulatory nightmare, and it’s time for some accountability,” said Senator Lummis. “It is time to subject the CFPB to the appropriations process like other federal agencies to ensure it is accountable to the American people it is supposed to serve.”  

“The government bureaucrats who created the CFPB continually sought to remove the agency from meaningful oversight and provide it with preferential treatment, all the way down to ignoring the widely-used federal government GS pay scale for CFPB employees,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation is a commonsense step to reigning in exorbitant pay at the CFPB and restoring parity among federal agencies.”

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America. The Court did not overturn the CFPB’s funding structure, underscoring the need for congressional action to restore accountability to the agency.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, Katie Britt (R-AL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

Full text of the CFPB Accountability Act can be found here.