The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, described by Rep. Jeb Hensarling as the “single most powerful and least accountable agency in all of Washington,” wants to spend approximately $139 million taxpayer dollars for a building upgrade.
Promoted by President Barack Obama as a protective agency for consumers, many Americans aren’t aware how snoopy the CFPB is.
Most information about the Bureau depicted it as a consumer complaint assistance agency.
The CFPB was formed after the financial meltdown. A number of agencies were merged into the bureau. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was instrumental in the creation of the agency before she won a Senate seat.
The Wall Street Journal reported on costs for the upgrade, but no information was given about contractors or vendors who will benefit from the massive taxpayer funded project.
Financial Services Committee chairman Hensarling (R-Texas) has been holding hearings with the current CFPB director Richard Cordray, and the congressman noted the original cost estimate was $95 million. Another estimate totaled $145.1 million. The paper said the whole building isn’t worth much more than that.
The Washington Examiner revealed extreme snooping:
“Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are conducting a massive, NSA-esque data-mining project collecting account information on an estimated 991 million American credit card accounts.”
Included in the data the CFPB would obtain on the majority of Americans’ individual accounts are: “a unique card-account identification reference number, ZIP code, monthly ending balance, borrower’s income, FICO score, credit limit, monthly payment amount, and days past due.”
Questions have yet to surface about the implications of the CFPB snooping and the 4th Amendment.
Hensarling also pointed something out that most Americans may not know—the CFPB is accountable to no one elected by the people [boldface added]:
“When it comes to the credit cards, auto loans and mortgages of hardworking taxpayers, the CFPB has unbridled, discretionary power not only to make them less available and more expensive, but to absolutely take them away. This is not the rule of law, it is the rule of rulers and the rulers are unaccountable. The Bureau is fundamentally unaccountable to the president since the director can only be removed for cause. Fundamentally unaccountable to Congress because the bureau’s funding is not subject to appropriations. Fundamentally unaccountable to the courts because Dodd-Frank requires courts to grant the CFPB deference regarding its interpretation of Federal consumer financial law. Thus, the Bureau regrettably remains unaccountable to the American people.”
(Filed by Kay B. Day/Jan. 29, 2014)