Hundreds of Employees at Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Agency Make More Than Most Elected Officials

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren / AP
February 9, 2017

Hundreds of employees at the Consumer Financial Projection Bureau, a government agency first proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), are paid higher salaries than members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, according to a recent analysis by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The CFPB was formed in 2011 after the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act the prior year and was originally conceived of by Warren when she was a law professor at Harvard.

The agency, spearheaded by Warren, has been paying exorbitant salaries to many of its employees. Some of the larger salaries at the agency have eclipsed those paid to some of the country's most influential lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found.

The Senate majority and minority leaders are paid $193,000 annually. Two hundred and one CFPB employees outdo Sens. Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer in pay.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin receives $223,000 per year, but that's less than what 54 CFPB employees are paid.

Another 170 CFPB employees earn more than the secretaries of defense and state, the attorney general, and the director of national intelligence. All Cabinet salaries are capped at $199,700, but not at the bureau. Thirty-nine CFPB employees earn more than the $230,000 paid to Vice President Mike Pence.

Republicans have criticized the agency because of its structure, which has allowed it to operate without normal government oversight. Currently, the CFPB operates independently under the control of the Federal Reserve Board, as Warren intended. This prevents Congress from controlling costs or regulations put out by the agency. It also means agency salaries do not have to abide by the pay scale set for federal workers in other parts of the government.

"This is just another reminder that the CFPB must be reined in and held accountable to the American people. The CFPB is one of the most unaccountable agencies in the federal government," Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.) told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Duffy sits on the House Financial Services Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

The in-depth analysis uncovered that over 449 CFPB employees make over $100,000 and 228 employees make over $200,000. Nearly 200 of these employees make more than their most senior boss, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellin, who earns $201,700 a year.