Press Releases

McHenry, Emmer Call on IG to Release Findings on Politically Motivated Removal of CFPB Career Staff

Washington, October 21, 2021 -

Today, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), and the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Tom Emmer (MN-06), sent a letter to the Inspector General (IG) for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Mark Bialek. The Republican Leaders demand the IG turn over any findings from his investigation into reports of CFPB career staff being improperly pushed out due to their political affiliations, which would violate federal employment laws.
Read the full letter here.
Read excerpts from the letter:
“During his tenure, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Dave Uejio took numerous actions that would traditionally be reserved for a Senate-confirmed Director. Among other things, Mr. Uejio appeared to prime the Bureau for Director Rohit Chopra’s confirmation by removing career staff hired during the previous administration and creating vacancies for replacements whose political affiliations more closely align with the Bureau’s current leadership. In addition to violating President Biden’s 'promise to support, protect and empower' career civil servants, Mr. Uejio’s attempt to overhaul the CFPB workforce may violate federal employment laws that prohibit personnel actions on the basis of political affiliation.
“We understand your office is currently reviewing these allegations. In light of President Biden’s decision to nominate Mr. Uejio to serve as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we request that you publicly release the findings from your investigation and provide a briefing for the Committee as soon as practicable.
“As of August, with over 300 attorneys on staff, the Bureau exceeded the peak attorney staffing level during former Director Richard Cordray’s tenure. Meanwhile, according to information obtained by the Committee and media reports, then-Acting Director Uejio pressured career staff hired during the previous administration to leave the Bureau to make room for hand-picked replacements. In fact, according to one report, several former and current employees state “the Biden team had a list of names it was aiming to install into the career slots at the bureau and therefore wanted to create vacancies.
“To create those vacancies, the Bureau’s political leadership reportedly offered separation incentives to induce senior career staff to retire, and launched 'frivolous' investigations into career officials who would not leave. If true, those allegations clearly implicate the protections afforded to civil servants under 5 C.F.R. § 4.2. The law protects those individuals in civil service from political discrimination not only in the hiring process, but in operation of their day-to-day responsibilities.
“Your findings will help us determine whether Mr. Uejio is fit to serve as a high-ranking political appointee at an agency in the Committee’s jurisdiction. Your findings will also inform our determination as to whether Director Chopra is a suitable candidate to implement any recommendations for corrective action in your report, or if he is conflicted from doing so on the basis of the evidentiary record.”


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