Waters Statement at CFPB Hearing
Washington, DC, May 21, 2014
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, gave the following remarks at today’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing to discuss “Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” At the hearing, Waters continued to underscore the seriousness of the allegations at the CFPB, and again called on Republicans to commit to addressing similar issues at all federal financial regulators. Waters also acknowledged the steps the CFPB is taking to try and achieve a fair, inclusive workplace.
Her statement is below.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Today we hear the testimony of two subpoenaed witnesses regarding allegations of discrimination and retaliation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Mr. Chairman, I again want to thank you for your interest in addressing discrimination issues at CFPB.
And I want to reiterate my sincere hope that you will commit to addressing similar issues that may be occurring in the private sector and at all of our federal financial regulators with the same due diligence as you have at CFPB.
As you know, Subcommittee Democrats have called on the Inspectors General at all of the financial regulators under our Committee’s jurisdiction to assess whether any personnel practices and policies within these agencies have created an unfair or discriminatory workplace for minorities and women. Since our last hearing, my staff has had productive conversations with staff from the offices of the Inspectors General – discussing the scope of this review and the use of uniform criteria to ensure their investigations are conducted in a thorough, meaningful, and consistent manner.
Mr. Chairman, once they are completed, I certainly hope you will join us in using the full weight of this Committee to take a close look at the findings of – and any recommendations from – the Inspectors General.
However, I remain disappointed that pay disparities among a wide range of classifications occurred at the Bureau, as was outlined in a report that CFPB released on Monday. It is good that the CFPB is taking steps to try and achieve a fair, inclusive workplace by – among other things – ensuring a more direct, ongoing interaction between the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion – or OMWI – and the Director’s office. I am also pleased that CFPB is engaging in negotiations with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) to develop a new employee evaluation system that will address these pay disparities and compensate employees.
I am hoping that today’s witnesses will shed additional light on the inner operations of the CFPB. But, as I and Ranking Member Green wrote to you over a month-and-a-half ago, I remain interested in hearing from the Bureau’s top leadership.
The CFPB has offered both Director Richard Cordray and the head of its OMWI, Stuart Ishimaru, to testify before the Committee – as has the National President of the NTEU. To date, they have not been invited to discuss this issue before the Committee.
Despite the fact that the Bureau’s senior leadership is not here with us today, I hope that in today’s hearing, we can still learn more about what steps the Bureau is taking to identify the root causes of the pay disparities – as well as additional details about the Bureau’s plans to evaluate and adopt new policies and procedures to ensure these types of problems do not happen again.
Thank you, I yield back.”