One of the first moves acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney made after assuming the role was to request zero new funding for the agency, saying he would instead spend down its reserve funds before asking for more money.
The move was unsurprising given Mulvaney’s reputation as a budget hawk who has long decried government spending.
But according to the Associated Press, Mulvaney’s desire for the agency to be “responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars” does not extend to the salaries enjoyed by his aides.
Mulvaney has hired at least eight political appointees since he took over the bureau in late November. Four of them are making $259,500 a year and one is making $239,595. That is more than the salaries of members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, and nearly all federal judges apart from those who sit on the Supreme Court.
The pay scale at CFPB does not reflect the general federal government scale -- which caps salaries at $134,776 -- because it’s under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve, which enjoys a waiver to determine its own pay schedule.
In a statement, a CFPB spokesperson blamed [former CFPB Director Richard] Cordray for the elevated salaries that Mulvaney’s appointees are making, saying “non-career staff are being paid on par with the career staff who directly report to them.” Mulvaney himself is not making a salary as acting director, and earns a salary as Trump’s budget director.