by Jeff Sovern
The bill as amended lowers the bureau’s budget cap by $9 million over 10 years. The cap is set at 618.7 million for fiscal year 2015.
Given that the law already caps the bureau’s funding and allows increases it only in line with the government’s employment cost index, the lower cap proposed in the amendment “is solely intended to impede the (bureau’s) ability to carry out its mission of protecting consumers in the financial markets,” said the White House Office of Management and Budget in a statement released Tuesday.
“These reductions to the caps could result in, among other things, undermining critical protections for families from abusive and predatory financial products,” the statement said.
If the bill came to the president’s desk as amended, his senior advisers would recommend he veto it, the statement said.
A spokesman for the GOP-controlled House Committee on Financial Services said in an email that the bill doesn’t cut funding; it just lowers the maximum amount the bureau could request from the Federal Reserve during two of the next 10 years by 0.1 percent.
“If this budget cap were applied to the typical American family with a household income of $50,000 a year rather than Washington bureaucrats, it would be the equivalent of tightening their budget by $7 per year,” wrote the spokesman, Jeff Emerson. “Most every American has done much more than that in the Obama economy. Surely the (consumer bureau) can, too.”
I wonder if Emerson would like to see similar reasoning applied to proposals to cut the defense budget. Most Americans do without tanks and fighter planes. Surely the Department of Defense can too. I look forward to a fuller explanation of why reducing the amount the Bureau can request is not a funding cut but it is nevertheless equivalent to "tightening" household budgets.