June 13, 2024

Scott, Hagerty, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Subject CFPB to Regular Congressional Appropriations Process

Washington, D.C. – Following yesterday’s U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and his Banking Committee colleagues in introducing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Accountability Act, legislation that would make the agency accountable to the American people by requiring that its funding be annually appropriated by Congress. Currently, the Federal Reserve is required to provide whatever funding that the CFPB requests within certain limits, a highly unusual arrangement that allows the CFPB to avoid the fiscal accountability to which the rest of the Executive Branch is subject.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) also co-sponsored the bill.  

“Under Director Chopra, the CFPB continues to brush aside congressional concerns, forge ahead with political agendas, and push past the boundaries of its authority – all to the detriment of the consumers it’s supposed to protect. By subjecting the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process, this legislation will increase accountability and help Congress ensure the agency stays true to its mission,” said Ranking Member Scott.

“The CFPB must be required to go through the regular congressional appropriations process to ensure public accountability,” said Senator Hagerty. “As a lifelong businessman, protecting consumers in the financial marketplace is important, but handing vast government regulatory power to an agency that is not accountable to the American people’s elected representatives is unacceptable. Americans deserve to have far greater input in this agency.”

“The government bureaucrats who created the CFPB continually sought to remove the agency from meaningful oversight and provide it with preferential treatment, all the way down to ignoring the widely-used federal government GS pay scale for CFPB employees,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation is a commonsense step to reigning in exorbitant pay at the CFPB and restoring parity among federal agencies.”

“The bureaucratic state is always trying to grab more power and minimize its accountability,” said Senator Kennedy. “CFPB bureaucrats don’t rely on Congress for funding—which means the bureau isn’t accountable to American taxpayers in key ways. That needs to change.”

“President Biden has created a bloated government that is a regulatory nightmare, and it’s time for some accountability,” said Senator Lummis. “It is time to subject the CFPB to the appropriations process like other federal agencies to ensure it is accountable to the American people it is supposed to serve.” 

“The CFPB has continued to operate as a partisan, rogue regulator, acting far outside of its congressional mandate and without any true accountability to Congress,” said Senator Britt. “This commonsense legislation would ensure the Bureau is held accountable to the American people by subjecting it to the congressional appropriations process.”

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a single-director agency which is less accountable to Congress because it is not subject to the regular appropriations process like other federal agencies,” said Senator Cramer. “I joined Senator Hagerty in introducing this legislation to allow for increased congressional oversight of this aggressive agency and ensure the people’s elected representatives have more say over the decisions coming out of Washington.”


This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Accountability Act builds on Ranking Member Scott’s work to increase accountability over the CFPB and protect American consumers. Yesterday, Ranking Member Scott held CFPB Director Rohit Chopra accountable for his blind pursuit of additional authority, abuse of enforcement powers, and rulemakings driven by politics instead of policy at the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on the CFPB’s semi-annual report to Congress.

In April 2023, Ranking Member Scott led eight Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee in a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra criticizing the agency’s attempt to demonize commonsense incentives that promote financial responsibility while highlighting the harms the rule would have on the cost and availability of credit for American consumers.

At a June 2023 committee hearing, Ranking Member Scott admonished Director Chopra’s public pressure campaign that mislabels legitimate payment incentives as “junk fees” or “illegal fees,” noting that, “this sweeping initiative lumps legitimate, standard credit card late fees in with the White House’s political efforts to bring down fees in other sectors.”

In March, when the CFPB finalized their credit card late fee rule, Ranking Member Scott vowed to fight the rule to “continue delivering for those who need it most.” In April, the Ranking Member introduced a measure to overturn the CFPB’s rule, arguing the rule will decrease the availability of credit card products for those who need it most, raise rates for many borrowers who carry a balance but pay on time, and increase the likelihood of late payments across the board.

Following May’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the CFPB’s funding structure, Ranking Member Scott stated, in part, “while today’s ruling is disappointing, I will continue to work to hold the Bureau accountable and push back on its abuse of power driven by politics instead of policy.”