The Republican-led House Committee on Appropriations has introduced its Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services bill, which includes provisions for more oversight for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to an announcement from the Committee.
The bill prioritizes critical national programs to enforce U.S. laws, including the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Security and Exchange Commission, and other agencies. The bill provides annual funding in the total amount of $20.2 billion for those agencies, which is $1.3 billion lower than the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $4.8 billion below the budget amount requested by the President, according the Committee.
“Every day, Americans are making tough decisions about their own budgets and rightfully expect federal agencies to do the same. While it reflects a very tight budget, this bill makes investments to support economic growth and job creation through our small businesses, and to protect our citizens by strengthening the enforcement of laws and the administration of justice,” Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R-Florida) said. “In addition, the bill reduces funding for nonessential areas, and holds the Administration and the Internal Revenue Service more accountable to the taxpayer.”
For the CFPB, the bill includes a provision that will bring the agency under the annual Congressional appropriations process. Currently, the CFPB is funded directly by the Federal Reserve. According to the Appropriations Committee, the change will allow for increased accountability and transparency of the Bureau's activities as well as the use of taxpayer money.
The new bill also calls for extensive reporting on the CFPB's activities. A longtime Republican criticism of the Bureau is the lack of Congressional oversight and that the Bureau is run by a single director instead of a board despite the fact that it is funded by the Fed. The Appropriations Committee bill is one of several introduced this year that calls for more transparency and Congressional oversight regarding the CFPB.
“This is an important bill that will invest in programs to maintain the fundamental fabric of our nation – a just judicial system, an open marketplace that allows a fair and level playing field for all, and to provide opportunities for businesses large and small to thrive,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky) said. “While making good use of limited tax dollars, this legislation also makes great strides in reining in wasteful spending, and stopping harmful and unnecessary bureaucratic overreach.”