A bill has been introduced in the Senate that seeks to “increase accountability” at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by aligning the pay of its employees with that of other employees working in the federal government.
S.1227, The CFPB Pay Fairness Act of 2021 was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy [R-La.] and cosponsored by Sen. John Barrasso [R-Wyo.] and Sen. Thom Tillis [R-N.C.]. In a press release announcing the bill, Kennedy claimed that nearly three dozen employees working at the CFPB are being paid more than what cabinet secretaries earn every year. CFPB salaries are capped at $259,500 per year, while cabinet secretaries make $221,400, according to Kennedy. About half of the CFPB’s employees are currently making more than $170,000 per year, Kennedy said. A copy of the legislation is available by clicking here.
His bill would give the CFPB 90 days to bring the salaries of its employees in line with the General Schedule pay scale for federal workers.
“The CFPB is supposed to protect consumers, but it looks like the agency is using federal funds to pad its employees’ wallets instead,” Kennedy said in a statement. “CFPB salaries eclipse those of other public servants, and we don’t even know why because the CFPB doesn’t follow the standards of the federal pay scale. The CFPB Pay Fairness Act would require the CFPB to pay its employees with transparency and integrity, ending this chapter of bloated bureaucracy.”
The salaries paid to staffers at the CFPB has been an issue for the past several years, regardless of whom was running the agency. Published reports called out Mick Mulvaney, the former Acting Director of the Bureau, for the salaries he was paying several appointments he made during his first months in office. One report from 2018 indicated that more than 200 employees at the CFPB were making more than $200,000 per year.
The CFPB has more freedom to pay its employees than other federal agencies because the CFPB is not subject to the Congressional appropriations process.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee for its consideration.