In an attempt to enforce transparency and accountability, a Republican senator is attempting to restructure a federal agency that oversees a wide range of consumer financial products.

The agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, operates with 1,372 full-time employees on roughly a $600 million annual budget.

“Right now, [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] is a rogue agency that dishes out malicious financial policy and creates new rules and regulations at whim without real Congressional oversight,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., told The Daily Signal in a statement. “The American people, through Congress, deserve a closer look at the [agency] and how its actions will impact consumers.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank Act and tasked with setting up regulatory guidance for a wide range of financial products. Because of its unique structure, the bureau has little accountability to Congress or the president regarding how it spends its money.

On a number of occasions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been criticized for reckless spending, including a controversial decision to renovate the Washington, D.C., headquarters it rents at a cost (per square foot) that is more expensive than Trump World Tower in New York City.

Some of the building’s proposed features included a four-story glass staircase, two-story waterfall and a sunken garden.


This afternoon, in attempt to increase oversight on the watchdog agency, Perdue is introducing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountability Act of 2015, which would bring the agency into the regular congressional appropriations process.

In April, a similar bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 401 to 2.

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., was largely responsible for drawing attention to problems with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by attacking the agency’s Credit Union Advisory Committee for meeting behind closed doors despite a public pledge to open their meetings to the public.

“This is about making government work; making it accountable and transparent,” Duffy said during the House debate on the legislation in April. “That should start at these meetings.”

In March, while speaking on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed restrictions on the payday lending industry, President Obama signaled he would veto any attempt to “unravel” what he called “ an independent consumer watchdog” and its role in Wall Street reform.

“If Republicans in Congress send me a bill to unravel Wall Street reform, I will veto it,” he said. “[The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is] one more way Wall Street reform is protecting working families and taxpayers.”

Republicans, though, vow to continue the fight to rein in the agency, and say the current legislation is just the “first step.”

“Ultimately, I believe [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] should be eliminated,” Perdue said. “[B]ut an important first step is bringing it into the light for the American people.”