Sources are saying that Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican lawmaker from California, might be the next leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
According to Bloomberg, Issa and J. Mark McWatters, a credit union regulator and former congressional staffer, are two of the top contenders for the job. President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement next week, making the June 22 deadline to select a permanent director.
“I was not involved in the process,” said current Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, adding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and top White House economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Kevin Hassett have been in charge of the search. “Once they name a person, I look forward to working with him or her to get that person up to speed.”
Mulvaney, who took over the CFPB last November, has been a harsh critic of the agency, which was formed after the 2008 financial crisis. In the first CFPB semi-annual report issued under Mulvaney’s watch, the agency head stated the CFPB is “all too powerful.”
During his time at the CFPB, Mulvaney has ended all functions of its student lending office (except for consumer education), ousted the 25 members of the agency’s Consumer Advisory Board and considered moving dozens of agency employees to the basement of its Washington headquarters, while relocating the others to Dallas, in an move to cut costs.
In fact, Mulvaney said he has ordered staff to propose cuts that would reduce the agency’s budget by 20 percent. In addition, he will ask Federal Reserve for $65.7 million to cover the CFPB’s operating costs for the fourth quarter, which brings the total budget requests for this year to $381 million – $200 million less than what the agency received in 2017.
Still, it could take the Senate months to confirm a successor, so Mulvaney said he expects to remain at the agency until late this year.