NEW YORK — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau spent more than $6,000 frosting the windows on the offices of senior staff in recent months, according to receipts and documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The spending on window frosting comes only months after the CFPB moved into renovated offices at a cost of more than $240 million.
The receipts were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request submitted earlier this year by the AP.
CFPB receipts show the bureau ordered window frosting film twice, once in September 2017 and again in early February. The frosting film has been used on the offices of the top political staffers as well as conference rooms, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record.
The bureau has declined to say why the senior staff needed frosted windows. The $6,000 in frosting expenses did not include labor, which the bureau did not disclose.
The issue of the bureau’s frosted windows came up during an oversight hearing before the House Financial Services Committee with Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s appointed acting director of the bureau.
In response to questioning from Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, Mulvaney said the frosting film was used on 13 offices including his own and that the frosting was planned before he arrived at the bureau. Mulvaney also said during his testimony that the cost of the frosting was $3,500, a figure that does not match the bureau’s records.
Located across the street from the White House, the CFPB’s building used to be headquarters for the Office of Thrift Supervision, a government agency that was shut down after the financial crisis. The bureau does not technically own the building, even though it did the renovation. It is owned by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which inherited all of the OTS’s assets.
The building’s renovation – which was needed to bring it up to safety and environmental standards – has long been a source of consternation for Republicans, who argued the agency spent too much money on renovating the brutalist structure. However a report by the Federal Reserve’s inspector general’s office found the building’s renovation costs to be reasonable, and Democrats have argued that Republicans’ concerns about the renovation cost were tied to their hostility toward the bureau’s existence in the first place.