The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency charged with looking into abuse complaints filed by consumers about their financial institutions, has just been investigated over budget mishandling, the Fiscal Times reports.
According to a report issued by the Inspector General for the Board of Governors and subsequently released by the House Financial Services Committee on Oversight and Investigations, the CFPB not only failed to secure funding approval, but the report also concludes that the entire project of renovating the CFPB headquarters in Washington, D.C., has “no sound basis” at all. With updated costs calculated, the project is expected to total $215 million dollars, amounting to $120 million dollars in excessive spending.
CFPB did not even follow its own guidelines for obtaining approval for the renovation, and incredibly, the Inspector General was unable to locate any documentation on the actual decision to renovate the bureau’s headquarters, whatsoever.
Republicans, having opposed the CFPB from its inception through the Dodd-Frank Act four years ago, jumped on the chance to point out the Bureau’s misdeeds.
“When they passed the Dodd-Frank Act, Democrats in Congress and the White House made the CFPB unaccountable to taxpayers and to Congress. 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. It’s outrageous,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas in a statement.
“The findings of the Inspector General’s investigation are deeply troubling and lead to even more questions about the unaccountable design of the CFPB…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. Coupled with recent accusations of discrimination and retaliation of employees by agency leaders, it has become abundantly clear that it’s not 1700 G Street that needs an overhaul, but rather the entire structure of the CFPB,” added Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who originally requested that the Inspector General conduct a report on CFPB renovations.
When looking at square footage, CFPB renovations are calculated to cost $590 per square foot, as compared to $334 for the Trump World Tower, and $330 for the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
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