Acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services Wednesday for a hearing discussing the CFPB's 2018 Semi-Annual Report.
During the course of the hearing, one congressman, Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., brought up Mulvaney’s past comments about the CFPB and its structure.
Meeks asked: You don’t like the fact that the CFPB exists, and you haven’t changed your mind on that have you?
Indeed, Mulvaney is known for having once called the federal agency a “sick, sad joke.”
“Some of us would like to get rid of it because we don’t like the idea of there being a non-accountable federal agency,” Mulvaney said back in 2014.
In response to Meeks’ question, Mulvaney answered simply, “No, I haven’t.”
“The president wants to put someone in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who doesn’t believe in the bureau,” Meeks went on to accuse.
But Mulvaney disagreed with the representative’s accusations, saying that while he thought the bureau is in need of major reforms, he is not hindering its purpose.
He pointed out that he could dismiss all of the CFPB’s staff at his will, as well as dismiss all ongoing investigations, which he has not done.
“It’s fair to say I was hostile to the existence of the bureau,” Mulvaney said during the hearing, conceding that it does not seem strange that some members of Congress would be hesitant about his role at the bureau.
But he also said that while he has not filed any lawsuits since his tenure began in January, that does not mean he will not file an enforcement action should the need arise.
Since former Director Richard Cordray left the bureau 135 days ago, leaving his place to Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB has not issued a single enforcement action.
“What we’ve done is try to focus on more formal rulemaking,” Mulvaney said during the hearing, saying the bureau has sent out less guidance and letters.
When asked what Congress could do to help Mulvaney better lead the bureau, he had just one answer – put him under appropriations.
“Why y’all don’t want me under appropriations – I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want that,” he said.