House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters recently sent a letter to employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, promising to fully empower them to protect consumers.
In the letter, Waters said that CFPB had faced challenges over the past two years, and expressed her concern that morale is suffering at the agency. She said the CFPB should be a place employees can be proud of their work and confident of the value they provide in protecting consumers.
“I am writing to reassure you of the importance and value of your work, and to let you know, in no uncertain terms, that the anti-consumer actions mandated by Trump appointees will not be tolerated,” Waters said in the letter. “I will work hard to ensure that you will once again be fully empowered to perform your duties on behalf of America’s consumers.”
Waters said that the CFPB has many “friends and allies in Congress” that will stand up for them.
“I have been concerned that actions taken, and changes made by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney were contrary to both the spirit and plain letter of the law and appear to be designed to frustrate the Consumer Bureau’s mission,” she wrote.
After Democrats regained power in the House of Representatives, the housing industry began calls to open and investigation on former CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. Democrats quickly geared up for an onslaught of investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration.
Some consumer groups began calling on the House Financial Services Committee to investigate Mulvaney, according to an article by Katy O’Donnell for Politico.
From the article:
“You can't protect consumers without looking at and investigating the CFPB under Mick Mulvaney,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of the consumer group Allied Progress.
“We certainly need to know what motivated decisions that are now in place — it doesn't matter who's in charge at that point,” he added.
And according to Politico, Democrats do, in fact, plan to look into the soft regulatory environment ushered in by Mulvaney. Under his term, consumer protections eroded, the Democrats claim.
“Let me assure you that actions to weaken the Consumer Bureau from within as Director Mulvaney attempted to do will not go unchecked or unnoticed,” Waters wrote in her letter. “As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, I will fight against any and all efforts to weaken the Consumer Bureau and make sure that your important work to protect consumers, as Congress intended, can continue.”
She announced she will be conducting careful oversight of the agencies under her committee’s jurisdiction, which includes the CFPB, and encouraged employees who are witnesses to waste, fraud, abuse or gross mismanagement to step forward.