November 29, 2011
In a letter obtained by The Washington Times, Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee seek an explanation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as to why the new agency asked the Federal Reserves to add $28 million to its allotted $142 million budget.
“What do they plan to use the money for?” asked Jeff Emerson, deputy chief of staff for the committee. “That’s a pretty significant increase.”
This month, the CFPB passed an audit of its financial statements from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, reports the Times. The GAO reported the financial statements were “fairly presented” and that the agency had “effective internal control over financial reporting.”
“Our goal is to be open and transparent about the way we spend our funds,” CFPB spokesperson Jen Howard said in a statement to The Times, responding to the committee’s letter.
The CFPB, an independent agency, has been a source of contention for GOP lawmakers, who are seeking greater control over the bureau’s budget.
“We believe that every government agency, including the CFPB, deserves strong government oversight. Since appropriations committees in this instance are prohibited from exercising this type of oversight, our committee will.”
The House Appropriations Committee has also previously expressed its disapproval towards how the CFPB is funded.
“The Committee cannot discern what the (CFPB) plans to do, how it will do it, or how much it will cost,” members wrote in a report. “The Committee is disappointed that an agency dedicated to transparency and accountability was not more forthcoming about how it plans to spend taxpayer money.”
The letter’s authors requested a response by Dec. 16. Click here to read the full article.