With a watchful eye U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., questioned today what authority the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relied on when it decided to market the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to taxpayers and at what cost.
Enzi said he was surprised and concerned when he discovered a flyer from the CFPB with his tax refund. The CFPB is an independent agency with broad authority that currently collects massive amounts of personal financial data on millions of Americans.
Addressing IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Treasury Inspector J. Russell George at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Enzi questioned if it was appropriate to use tax payer dollars to advertise the CFPB, since it is an independent agency and does not rely on Congressional appropriations. Enzi also inquired whether the IRS shared any confidential taxpayer information in organizing the mailings.
“The CFPB is supposed to be an independent organization, I don’t believe the Treasury Department should be soliciting information on behalf of the entity,” said Enzi.
With the Senate Finance Committee meeting to investigate the recent server breach of the IRS, which targeted some 200,000 tax payers accounts, Enzi expressed concerns that hackers could get personal data from the CFPB that was shared with the IRS.
“People are worried about the National Security (Agency), but they ought to worry about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Enzi.