Mulvaney Pitches New CFPB Governance To Congress


In his first semiannual report to Congress, Mick Mulvaney said he is taking a narrow approach to running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Mulvaney, who is temporarily running the agency, is also the White House budget chief, Bloomberg reported.

“Our job is to enforce federal consumer financial laws, and our focus will be on carrying out only those activities Congress explicitly wrote into law,” Mulvaney told the House Financial Services Committee. In addition, Mulvaney said he’s changed the focus of the agency from aggressive regulator to one that takes actions with “humility and moderation.”

In his report, Mulvaney said he believes Congress should fund the agency — instead of the Federal Reserve. In addition, he said the agency should have lawmaker approval before creating any new rules. Beyond that, he wants the bureau’s chief to report to the president and for an independent inspector general to be established for the bureau. Mulvaney is not alone in seeking structural change: The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) echoed his sentiments.

“It is beyond comprehension to give a single director nearly unilateral authority over every consumer and financial institution in the country. A Senate-confirmed, bipartisan commission — like nearly all other regulatory agencies in the country — would bring greater stability and balance to the CFPB,” CBA President and CEO Richard Hunt said in a statement. “A commission prevents the regulatory pendulum from swinging wildly back and forth every time a new person sits in the Oval Office and will help ensure the CFPB fulfills its mission of consumer protection.”

The news comes months after Richard Cordray announced his resignation from his position as chief of the CFPB. In the wake of Cordray stepping down from the CFPB in November 2017, President Trump tapped Mulvaney to step in on an interim basis. At the time, it was announced that Mulvaney would not leave his current job as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).