The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) awarded a $14.7 million contract to a liberal advocacy firm, GMMB, a group that has close ties to 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
On June 30, 2017, the CFPB awarded GMMB a $14.7 million contract for agency media and resource communication for 2017.
In 2016, GMMB received $16 million to publicize the agency’s advice for consumers seeking to learn more about mortgages, student loans, and retirement plans.
The CFPB contracts advertising almost exclusively through GMMB.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan government watchdog agency, released a report last year that the federal government spends $1.5 billion annually on public relations activities. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the Senate Budget Committee Chairman, requested the report to find wasteful spending in government.
The GAO detailed how federal agencies spend about $1 billion on public relations activities and roughly 5,000 federal public relations employees receive almost $500 million in annual salary. The GAO found that the CFPB spent the highest percentage of its budget over the last decade.
Sen Enzi said:
With increasing pressures on limited federal resources, it is crucial to know how much is spent across the federal government on public relations activities and which federal agencies are spending the most. It is important to understand the primary purposes and reported benefits from the investments of tax dollars paid by America’s hardworking families. I look forward to GAO continuing its efforts to shine more light on these activities.
Breitbart News previously reported the CFPB’s cozy relationship with liberal advocacy group GMMB. The GMMB firm received over $40 million from federal government contracts from 2009 to 2017. GMMB received $16 million from the CFPB to publicize the agency’s advice for consumers seeking to learn more about mortgages, student loans, and retirement plans.
Cause of Action Institute President Alfrech Lechner filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for details on the contract between the CFPB and GMMB. Lechner explained, “Given GMMB’s partisan political clients, CoA Institute is concerned about the nature of and safeguards applied to any CFPB information supplied to or received from GMMB.”
GMMB previously told Breitbart News that they do not have access to any of CFPB’s consumer data. GMMB said, “Our work with CFPB is focused entirely on educating the public about CFPB’s financial tools as part of the agency’s mission. We do not have access to any of CFPB’s consumer data.”
Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently suggested that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly should ask President Donald Trump to fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray, the Obama-appointed holdover who rules the controversial CFPB. House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling suggested that Cordray may have violated the Hatch Act by indirectly reaching out to a potential primary rival in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Ohio to not run for office.
Lewandowski told NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, “I think the general should re-look at firing Richard Cordray, the CFPB, he is a person who is now all but running for governor in the state of Ohio and he’s sitting in federal office right now, and I think this general as chief of staff, is going to come in and put a fresh set of eyes on the inner-workings of the White House and making sure the president’s agenda moves.”