Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, oversaw the hiring of two senior aides with salaries topping $230,000 ― a major boost from their previous government jobs ― as he criticized the agency for overspending, The New York Times reported.
Kirsten Sutton, the CFPB chief of staff as of January, makes $259,500 per year, documents obtained by the newspaper show. Her predecessor earned $212,324. Sutton’s new salary is a raise of more than 50 percent from her previous job working for Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).
Brian Johnson, hired as a CFPB senior adviser, makes $239,595. He was sent an offer letter on Dec. 1 with a starting salary of $220,000, but his pay was increased by more than $19,000 by the end of the month.
The high pay scale isn’t unusual for the CFPB. Financial regulators offer higher salaries than other Washington agencies ― but both Mulvaney hires are making more than their predecessors and most of their colleagues, the Times said.
Disclosure of the fat paychecks comes after President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly advocated reshaping the agency, arguing it has imposed too many regulations on the financial industry, and have tried to cut the amount it pays employees. The latest White House budget proposal recommended a $150 million funding cut.
Trump installed Mulvaney, the White House budget director, to temporarily lead the CFPB in November. Mulvaney submitted a report to Congress on Monday encouraging lawmakers to curb the agency’s powers.
“The bureau is far too powerful, and with precious little oversight of its activities,” he said in the report.
He requested a CFPB budget for the quarter of $0 and said he would fund operations with reserves.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated Mulvaney was previously the White House budget director. Mulvaney still holds that role in addition to leading the CFPB.