The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) structure has seen many challenges in the past couple of years. The highest-profile item is the pending U.S. Supreme Court review of the CFPB's single-director structure where the director may only be removed by the President for cause. The CFPB's financial independece—specifically, it's ability to set its own budget and get funding directly from the Federal Reserve System—is another often-challenged item, most recently in the President's 2021 proposed budget.


President Donald Trump released his proposed budget yesterday, calling for the CFPB to be subject to the appropriations process. What does that mean? In the separation of powers of the U.S. government, Congress traditionally has the "power of the purse." This means that Congress generally controls where the government's money goes through an appropriations process. When the CFPB was created, it was designed to circumvent the appropriations process so that it can be "independent" of bipartisan politics. If the President's proposal were to go through, the CFPB would need to seek funding from Congress rather than directly from the Fed.

The President has proposed a similar structural change in the past, but it never came to be. Chances are slim that it would make it through this time around.

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