OMB Director Called the CFPB “A Sad Joke” and Said It Shouldn’t Exist After Taking Nearly $1.3 Million from CFPB-Regulated Financial Sector
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to widespread reporting that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will be tapped by President Trump to also serve as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Allied Progress released the following statement and preliminary research findings exposing Mulvaney’s deep ties to CFPB-regulated industries, opposition to the CFPB’s central mission and structure, and long record of attempting to sabotage the CFPB’s important work.
“Serving as director of the CFPB – even on an interim basis – isn’t about politics, it’s about fulfilling the Bureau’s mission to protect consumers from powerful financial institutions like big banks, credit card companies, debt collectors, payday lenders, and student loan processors,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
He continued, “Mulvaney has never supported the mission of the CFPB – in fact, he’s called it a ‘sad joke’ and said he doesn’t think it should exist. He has sponsored legislation and voted to sabotage the Bureau and render it incapable of holding industry accountable. He did all of this while taking nearly $1.3 million from key players in the CFPB-regulated financial sector.”
“Despite Mulvaney’s best efforts, the CFPB has been a success. Over a few short years it has had a real impact proactively defending consumers from systemic abuses and going after financial companies when they step out of line. The results are impressive: the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million wronged Americans.”
“If he does end up taking on this role, he will have a statutory obligation to enforce the law which requires the CFPB to act in the best interest of consumers – full stop. If he fails to stand up to big banks and financial predators, we will use every tool at our disposal to ensure he is held accountable,” he concluded.
SNAPSHOT: CFPB’s Accomplishments vs. Mulvaney’s Anti-CFPB Record
In The Six Years Since The CFPB Was Created, The Agency Has
Handled 1.2 million consumer complaints about problems with financial companies;
Created new protections for people using financial products and services;
Held bad actors accountable for breaking the law;
Provided new resources to help consumers make informed financial decisions about their finances and more.
But While The Vast Majority of Americans Support the CFPB, Mulvaney Thinks It’s, “A Sad, Sick Joke”
- Mulvaney believes the CFPB is “a sad, sick joke,” calling it “one of the most offensive concepts I think, in a representative government,” and claimed “We have created… the very worst kind of government entity.” [Mick Mulvaney, “Nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Senate Budget Committee, 01/24/17]
- Mulvaney was once overheard saying “‘I don’t like the fact that CFPB exists'” by a Senator. [Press Release, Chris Van Hollen, 02/03/17]
1.28 Million Reasons to be Suspicious
- Mulvaney has taken in more than $1.28 million from key actors in the financial sector, which is regulated by the CFPB. This financial sector was by far Mulvaney’s highest-contributing sector. [Open Secrets Search for Mick Mulvaney, Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 11/16/17]
Attempts to Sabotage the CFPB
- In 2015, Mulvaney co-sponsored a bill to repeal “the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” [HR 3118, United States House of Representatives, 114th Congress and HR 3118, United States House of Representatives, 114th Congress]
- Mulvaney voted to subject the CFPB to the Congressional appropriation process, “replace the CFPB’s single director with a five-member board,” and “make it easier for a council of federal regulators to overrule the CFPB’s decisions.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/27/14; HR 3193, Vote #85, 2/27/14]
- Mulvaney voted to “install a five-member oversight panel” to the CFPB rather than a “single director” and “make it easier to overturn regulations imposed by the bureau.” [Politico, 7/21/11; HR 1315, Vote #621, 7/21/11]
- Mulvaney voted to repeal the CFPB’s “exclusive authority to make rules affecting the financial industry.” [Tulsa World, 3/02/14; HR 3193, Vote #82, 2/27/14]
- Mulvaney has repeatedly voted to cap funding for the CFPB, or to subject the funding for the CFPB to additional bureaucratic red tape. [Washington Examiner, 2/04/15; The Hill, 2/04/15; HR 50, Vote #64, 2/04/15; The Hill, 7/15/14; HR 5016, Vote #411, 7/15/14]
A Champion of Predatory Payday Lenders
- In April 2016, Mulvaney introduced a bill to allow states to “opt out for five years from the CFPB payday rules. At the end of that term, they could opt out again.” [Chico Harlan, “The pending crackdown on payday lending is causing the exact Washington argument you’d expect,” The Washington Post, 04/05/16]
- Mulvaney voted against an amendment to protect the CFPB’s “oversight of payday lenders located on or near military bases, its efforts to help consumers deal with compromised credit cards, or its policing of fraud in fees charged for student loans or ATM withdrawals.” He also opposed a legislative fix to ensure that the CFPB would not be prevented “from informing consumers about personal information breaches, protecting servicemembers from payday lenders on or near military bases or from investigating and enforcing sanctions related to ATM or private student loan fees.” [Arizona Daily Star, 3/02/14; HR 3193, Vote #84, 2/27/14; Victoria Finkle, “House to Consider Bill Overhauling CFPB,” American Banker, 02/25/14; “February 2014 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 3193,” House of Representatives Vote 84, 02/27/14]
- Mulvaney voted for a bill “designed to make it harder for the financial agencies to stop” potentially fraudulent bank activity with industries such as payday lenders. [Victoria Finkle, “Luetkemeyer Tries Again on Anti-Choke Point Bill,” American Banker, 02/06/15; Cristina Marcos, “House passes bill to halt ‘Operation Choke Point’,” The Hill, 02/04/16; and HR 766, House of Representatives Vote 63, 114th Congress]
Doesn’t Think Banks Need Pro-Consumer Regulations
- Mulvaney, who argued that the Wells Fargo scandal did not demonstrate a need for more regulation of banks, once voted for a bill granting protection “to community banks and credit unions issuing risky home loans” against most consumer lawsuits, if the banks retained the loans. [“Lawmakers decry Wells’ impact on CUs, other FIs,” National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions,” 09/30/16; “HOW THEY VOTED: Inland elected officials weigh in on federal issues”, The Press Enterprise, 11/21/15 and HR 1210, House of Representatives Vote 636, 114th Congress]
Wait… There’s More
- Mulvaney voted for a bill that would “halt Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulation of auto loans with discriminatory interest rates.” [“HOW THEY VOTED: Inland elected officials weigh in on federal issues”, The Press Enterprise, 11/21/15 and HR 1737, House of Representatives Vote 637, 114th Congress]
- Mulvaney voted against prohibiting individuals from serving on CFPB advisory boards if they had been recently employed by any company that had warned for engaging in “predatory lending or fraud against veterans or service members.” [Victoria Finkle, Battle Over CFPB Funding Erupts Anew in House, American Banker, 04/24/15; “April 2015 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 1195,” House of Representatives Vote 166, 04/22/15]
- Mulvaney voted against adding language to the “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act” “that would bar an individual or lender found to have engaged in unfair, deceptive, predatory, or abusive lending practices, or convicted of mortgage fraud to make use of the bill’s provisions.” [“Walker, Tillis vote yes on several bills,” News & Record, 04/19/15; “April 2015 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 650,” House of Representatives Vote 150, 04/14/15]
- Mulvaney voted against amending the “Access to Capital for Job Creators Act” “to ban individuals convicted of fraud related to financial transactions, including predatory lending to veterans, from generally advertising or soliciting non-publicly traded securities.” [“HOUSE PASSES BI-PARTISAN SMALL BUSINESS BILLS,” US Fed News, 11/04/11; “November 2011 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 2940,” House of Representatives Vote 827, 11/03/11]
- Mulvaney voted against amending the “anti-regulation” Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act to exempt laws related to predatory lending and consumer protections “from the bill’s moratorium on regulations.” [Larry Bivins, “Ribble anti-regulations bill faces tough road in Senate,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, 07/29/12; [“July 2012 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 4078,” House of Representatives Vote 535, 07/26/12]
- Mulvaney voted against an amendment advocating for “tougher enforcement of housing anti-discrimination and predatory lending laws.” [Fiscal 2017 Budget Views and Estimates/Office of Financial Research, CQ Committee Coverage, 02/03/16]
- Mulvaney voted to “overturn…new rules” requiring financial professionals to put “their clients’ best interest first when giving advice on retirement investments like individual retirement accounts.” [“House upholds Obama “fiduciary rule” on retirement savings,” Associated Press, 06/23/16; H J RES 88, House of Representatives Vote 338, 114thCongress]
To speak with Karl Frisch about Mulvaney and the CFPB please contact Annette McDermott at 202-697-4804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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