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Apr 12, 2018

Tester Takes Mulvaney to Task Over Wasteful Spending

Senator to CFPB Director: You Can’t Be Conservative When It’s Convenient

(U.S. Senate) - As part of his ongoing effort to hold federal agencies accountable and reduce government waste, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today grilled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney about the sky-high salaries of his political appointees.

"You come to this position with a record of being a deficit hawk," Tester said. "But I will tell you that it is somewhat troubling that your Chief of Staff is getting paid $47,000 more per year than her predecessor, more than members of Congress, most federal judges, the Vice President, and Cabinet Secretaries-more than you. You've got political designees that are making right at or right next to $240,000. That doesn't jive with being a fiscal conservative."

Mulvaney, who had been a vocal opponent of the CFPB before his appointment as Director, has cut funding, halted investigations, and implemented a hiring freeze at the agency in the name of fiscal restraint. In light of these cost-cutting measures, Tester pushed Mulvaney on why his Chief of Staff and other political appointees are making more than ever before.

"I think it's good to be conservative, but you need to be consistent, you can't be conservative when it's convenient," Tester told Mulvaney.

Tester then pivoted to the White House's proposed cuts to crop insurance, a topic he brought up with Secretary Perdue at a similar oversight hearing yesterday. In addition to being Director of the CFPB, Mulvaney is also Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which crafts the President's budget proposals to Congress.

"I think Perdue gets it, I think the problem may be at OMB,"
Tester said. "And I'm going to tell you, as a farmer, you reduce those safety net programs and then food security becomes a problem because farmers won't buy that insurance, they will go broke, and I guarantee you, unequivocally, if we're dependent on multi-national corporations to feed this country we've got a national security issue."

The White House proposed significant cuts to crop insurance programs in its FY19 Budget Proposal. Tester successfully defended against similar cuts in last year's budget.

Tester has been a champion of consumer protection in Congress, grilling the high-powered CEOs of Wells Fargo, Equifax, and most recently Facebook about their companies' abuse or misuse of consumer information. He introduced a bill that would help the CFPB hold Wells Fargo accountable and he recently demanded answers from Mulvaney after the CFPB halted its investigation into the Equifax data breach.


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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