Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, criticized Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney for "his efforts to roll back the agency’s mission to protect consumers." Mulvaney appeared before the committee on April 12, 2018, to testify about the Bureau’s semi-annual report to Congress for the period of April 1 to Sept. 30, 2017 (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 13, 2018). At the hearing, Brown stressed that since Mulvaney took the helm, the Bureau "has not initiated a single enforcement action to put money back in the pockets of service members, veterans, seniors, or students."
"Mr. Mulvaney is trying to convince us that protecting families and prosecuting shady lenders is, ‘pushing the envelope.’ That is a lie. That is the CFPB’s entire mission," Brown said.
Undermining the Bureau. The lawmaker noted that Mulvaney supported eliminating the CFPB when he was a member of Congress. His actions since being named acting director show “he is determined to undermine the CFPB so Congress will take away its ability to protect consumers.” To support his statement, Brown listed several examples of Mulvaney’s actions to weaken the CFPB. Mulvaney has:
- halted payments to victims of financial crimes;
- directed Bureau staff to reconsider current investigations and litigation;
- prevented the CFPB from hiring investigators to "hunt down shady lenders";
- changed the CFPB’s mission statement, claiming the Bureau should also work for payday lenders and credit card issuers; and
- put a moratorium on new rulemaking.
Brown added that on the 50-year anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the CFPB under Mulvaney observed the anniversary by weakening the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity.
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