Mulvaney Actively Undermines The Bureau He Runs

As Mulvaney testifies before Congress on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau he runs, here’s a look at some of the many ways he has actively sought to undermine the ability of the bureau to protect consumers, in favor of bad actors and big corporations:


In a sharp break with the CFPB under President Obama, Trump’s CFPB hasn’t brought a single enforcement action in Mulvaney’s first five months as acting CFPB director.


Associated Press: “In the 135 days since the Trump administration took control of the nation's consumer watchdog agency, it has not recorded a single enforcement action against banks, credit card companies, debt collectors or any finance companies whatsoever. That's likely no fluke: Mick Mulvaney, appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in late November, promised to shrink the bureau's mandate and take a much softer approach to enforcement, and records reviewed by The Associated Press indicate he has kept his word.”


Associated Press: “A review of a CFPB database obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information request shows that the bureau issued an average of two to four enforcement actions a month under former Director Richard Cordray, President Obama's appointee. But the database shows zero enforcement actions have been taken since Nov. 21, 2017, three days before Cordray resigned.”


Mulvaney, a longtime beneficiary of contributions from payday lenders, dropped cases against multiple lenders that the CFPB previously found to have engaged in unethical practices.


Washington Post: “Already, Mulvaney has bolstered the hopes of payday lenders who were repeatedly targeted under the Obama administration with high-dollar fines. The bureau in January dropped a nearly four-year-old investigation into a subprime lender that allegedly charged customers exorbitant interest rates. It also dropped a lawsuit against four payday lenders that charged interest rates as high as 950 percent.”


Mother Jones: “The CFPB’s loosened approach to payday lenders is in line with Mulvaney’s own history. As a congressman, he received more than $60,000 in campaign donations from payday lenders. And the CFPB’s plan to weaken the payday rule echoes a bill that Mulvaney sponsored in 2016 as a congressman.”


Mulvaney tried to zero out funding for the CFPB and urged Congress to severely curtail the bureau’s power and independence.


Politico: “Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve … And yesterday, President Donald Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, sent his first request to the Fed. He requested zero.”


New York Times: “Mr. Mulvaney made a series of recommendations to lawmakers that would curb the bureau’s power and independence … He also recommended that bureau rules be subject to legislative approval and advised that the president should have direct oversight and authority over the bureau’s director. Right now, the director can be removed by the president only for specific and justifiable cause, rather than for political or other reasons.”


Despite trying to end the CFPB’s funding, Mulvaney gave huge raises to his political appointees and even created new roles for them.


ABC News: “At least eight non-career employees have been hired since Mulvaney took over the post in November 2017. Five of those eight new hires earn an annual salary that exceeds the amount available to most political appointees, which in 2018 is $164,200, according to the Office of Personnel Management.”


Associated Press: “Further, it appears that at least two people that Mulvaney hired for his office are for positions that did not exist under the previous administration, at an additional taxpayer cost of $259,500 per employee.”