Mulvaney’s Proposals Are a Knife in the Heart of the CFPB

April 2, 2018

Mulvaney’s Proposals Are a Knife in the Heart of the CFPB

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

Note: Today, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its semi-annual report highlighting its work. This is the first report issued by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, and it includes his four recommendations for statutory changes to the agency.

Acting Director Mulvaney’s proposed changes would stab a knife through the heart of the CFPB’s mandate to protect consumers from financial industry abuses. The CFPB’s report drives home all the obvious reasons that it is a terrible idea to have someone who disagrees with an agency’s mission in charge of that agency. Mulvaney’s goal here is clear: to block, defund, and politicize the protections Dodd-Frank finally gave Main Street Americans with the creation of an agency to look out for our financial security. This plan must be stopped.

Acting Director Mulvaney recommends four statutory alterations to Dodd-Frank. The first is to fund the CFPB through congressional appropriations, instead of its current funding stream from the Fed, making it easier to defund and then defang. The second is to require legislative approval of all major rules – a plan guaranteed to politicize consumer protection, using congressional dysfunction to stop consumer regulation. The third is to ensure that the agency’s director answers to the president, taking away the independence of a necessarily independent agency. And the fourth is to create an independent inspector general.

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