Politics & MoneyMortgage

CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney refuses to answer Democrats’ questions

Tells Congress to change oversight requirements

It’s no secret that Democrats don’t approve of President Donald Trump’s pick for acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney.

And Mulvaney has made no secret of his own disapproval of how the bureau is set up, once calling it a “sick, sad joke.”

But now, he is trying his hand at forcing the Democrats to bring further accountability to the bureau by not answering Congress Democrats questions about his operations because, in short, he doesn’t have to.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., recently sent Mulvaney a 17-page letter in which she outlined more than 100 questions from Democrats that had been given “evasive, misleading or incomplete answers.”

Mulvaney responded to the letter, and while he said they disagreed on issues such as the bureau’s status under his leadership, he empathized with her frustration at his lack of responses, according to an article by John Heltman for the American Banker.

His solution? Pass legislation that makes him more accountable.

From the American Banker article:

“When I served on the House Committee on Financial Services as a Member of Congress, I was frequently frustrated with what I perceived to be a lack of responsiveness, transparency and accountability at the Bureau,” Mulvaney wrote. “I encourage you to consider the possibility that the frustration you are experiencing now, and that which I had a few years back, are both inevitable consequences of the fact that [the Dodd-Frank Act] insulates the Bureau from virtually any accountability.”

On Monday, the CFPB issued its first semi-annual report to Congress since Mulvaney took over as acting director of the agency last year. In the report, Mulvaney asked Congress to enact four major reforms that would considerably cut the CFPB’s independence.

“The Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its activities,” Mulvaney said in a statement.

“The power wielded by the Director of the Bureau could all too easily be used to harm consumers, destroy businesses, or arbitrarily remake American financial markets,” Mulvaney continued. “I’m requesting that Congress make four changes to the law to establish meaningful accountability for the Bureau. I look forward to discussing these changes with Congressional members.”

Read more about those requested changes here.

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