Progressive leaders on Friday decried the Trump administration's reported plan to install Mick Mulvaney, an outspoken critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), as interim director of the agency that was formed after the 2008 financial crisis to shield citizens from abusive practices by banks and other corporations.
While consumer advocates and progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who was a chief architect of the bureau, have heralded the agency as a much-needed watchdog for Wall Street, payday loan companies, and other predatory lenders, Mulvaney has referred to the CFPB as a "sad joke" and has called for it to be disbanded.
"The new director of the CFPB must be someone with a track record of protecting consumers and holding financial firms responsible when they cheat people," Warren said in a statement after the current CFPB head, Richard Cordray, announced he would step down by the end of the month. "This is no place for another Trump-appointed industry hack."
Mulvaney currently directs the Office of Management and Budget, where he has shown little concern for the U.S. families and consumers the CFPB is meant to protect. In the budget proposal he unveiled earlier this year, he urged cuts to food stamps and Medicaid and the elimination of student loan subsidies.
"Could not imagine a more outrageously terrible selection to run CFPB—a man who *hates* its mission."—Richard Yeselson, Dissent Magazine
He also argued against Meals on Wheels, declaring that the government shouldn't spend money to feed elderly people because it was "just not showing any results," and said that after-school programs that offer meals to low-income children were unnecessary because there was "no demonstrable evidence" that the programs improve school performance—evidently the only potential benefit to such an effort that Mulvaney considered.
Under Cordray, the CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay $185 million in fines for opening fraudulent accounts in customers' names. It also introduced a rule allowing consumers to file class-action lawsuits against banks and credit-card companies—but that law was killed by the Republican-led Congress.
Critics on social media expressed fears that Mulvaney will further de-fang the agency or destroy in completely.
The next @CFPB head must be someone with a demonstrated record of standing with and up for American consumers – not someone who thinks the consumer bureau is a "sick, sad" joke. https://t.co/G6b5HXeneD— Civil Rights (@civilrightsorg) November 16, 2017
Could not imagine a more outrageously terrible selection to run CFPB—a man who *hates* its mission. Mulvaney is a crackpot—a corporate coddling extremist who is dedicated to destroying any government programs that help poor, working or middle class Americans. https://t.co/3wwlDTo1nc— Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) November 16, 2017
Mulvaney has never supported the mission of the CFPB – in fact, he’s called it a ‘sad joke’ and said he doesn’t think it should exist. He has sponsored legislation and voted to sabotage the Bureau and render it incapable of holding industry accountable.— Allied Progress (@AlliedProgress) November 17, 2017