Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), appeared Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. During the hearing, according to the banking and financial services news outlet SNL Financial, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) was "particularly concerned" about the cost of CFPB's headquarters renovation. Coburn suggested that a private sector firm could do a better job keeping the project's costs down. Cordray defended the renovations, urging Coburn to come see the building for himself.
"It's a dump," Cordray said. "It is not opulent, and it will not be opulent when it's finished."
Still, Cordray told Coburn he was open to suggestions.
"I'll give you this suggestion," Coburn said. "Go to the outside of Washington, go into the middle of the country and find people like Manhattan Construction that knows how to do this for a whole lot less money. They can design and build it that's adequate and built well and do it in a way that says, 'We don't have an extra penny to spend.'"
Manhattan Construction, builder of Cowboys Stadium in Texas and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., is owned by Rooney Holdings. As SNL Financial reported Tuesday, Rooney Holdings' employees and their immediate families have contributed $13,500 to Coburn's campaign committee since 2009, good for fourth on this list of donors put together by The Center for Responsive Politics.
Earlier this year, Coburn announced that he would retire at the end of the current session of Congress.