Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) told CU Times the CFPB serves as a great example of the way bureaucracy functions when it has no accountability to anyone.

Mulvaney, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said the CFPB gets its funding through the Federal Reserve, not directly through congressional appropriations, which makes it harder for Congress to exercise oversight.

“It makes it difficult to get a phone call returned. It makes it difficult to schedule a hearing. It makes it difficult to get answers to simple questions: When are you coming back to see us again? We can’t get an answer to that. It has been a truly adversarial relationship,” he said after speaking at NAFCU’s congressional caucus on Wednesday.

The CFPB retroactively gave the highest performance review rating possible to employees who received less favorable ratings on their performance reviews in 2012 and 2013. The CFPB made the change after racial disparities in performance ratings were revealed. 

Mulvaney told CU Times he is against the decision. The House Financial Services Committee has held a series of hearings with current and former CFPB employees about discrimination allegations.

“It a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody. It turns out being a joke and that’s what the CFPB really has been in sick, sad, kind of way,” Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney, who also serves on the House Small Business Committee, said the CFPB has tremendous authority over financial institutions and there is very little elected officials can do to protect those institutions from any overreach by the agency.

“It’s extraordinary frightening,” he said. “I am somewhat encouraged in that we do have some bipartisan support for reforms to the CFPB and we’ll see if we can make some progress on that in the next Congress.”

Mulvaney suggested Congress replace the CFPB’s director with a five member commission and require the agency to go through the same rulemaking processes as other regulators.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid is preventing most of these from going forward; even bills, by the way, that have Democrat support in the House,” he said. “A change of control in the Senate would allow us to at least force the President to have a debate on these issues because that discussion is not taking place.”

During his speech at the event, Mulvaney told the audience the NCUA should release detailed budgets. He also assured credit unions that Republicans on the House Financial Services committee are pushing the NCUA to soften proposed risk-based capital requirements.

“If a federal agency won’t tell you how it’s spending your money then you have a right to be concerned,” he said.