Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to cut salaries for employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., are co-sponsoring a bill called the Pay Fairness Act that would set pay for CFPB employees in line with the federal government's pay scale known as the general schedule.
The CFPB's 1,600 employees currently are paid based on a scale that is somewhat comparable to that of the Federal Reserve, largely because financial regulators claim they need to offer higher salaries to lure senior staff from banks and Wall Street.
The bill is not the first attempt to alter pay for CFPB employees. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, included similar language in the Financial Choice Act. In 2013, Duffy introduced a similar bill, the CFPB Pay Fairness Act, which passed the House the following year but was never taken up by the Senate.
The legislation is a sign that Republican lawmakers intend to continue attacks on the CFPB even though the Trump administration has appointed its own interim director, Mick Mulvaney, to run the agency.
"The CFPB is dangerously unaccountable to the American people because Democrats intentionally designed it that way,” Duffy said in a press release. “The agency must be reined in and held accountable, and the Pay Fairness Act, which sets basic pay rates in accordance with the federal government’s general schedule, is an important step in giving the American people a say in how this rogue agency functions.”
Enzi criticized the CFPB for its "lavish spending on employee salaries."
“There are hundreds of employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau making more than governors, Supreme Court justices and senior White House staff, and Congress lacks the usual constitutional checks to rein in this behavior," Enzi said in a press release.