Forget Consumer Protection. Under Trump-Appointed Mulvaney, CFPB Is About Deregulation
Agency's new mission statement makes "regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations" the top priority
Muting the core of the agency's mission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the controversial direction of Trump-appointed Mick Mulvaney has sidelined consumer protection and indicated "deregulation" is the forefront of its purpose.
The difference is displayed at the bottom of the most recent press releases from the agency.
The second image is from the previous press release dated Nov. 24:
The new version puts "by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations" first and also leaves out the word "fairly."
Observers of the change took to social media to note and criticize the shift:
Not a joke: Mulvaney literally removed the word "fairly" from the CFPB's mission statement. https://t.co/IaeyJbOo2l
— Rachel Goodman (@rachelegoodman1) December 22, 2017
Deregulating is now its main thrust. There’s still a nod to “consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law,” but hard to square that with Mulvaney’s early steps. Watch closely to see what the enforcement docket looks like.
— Chiraag Bains (@chiraagbains) December 22, 2017
2/ It wasn't good enough to just say "by making rules more effective" as the previous description read. And it's good to know that this is what Mulvaney (whose twitter handle I shan't use) thinks is the agency's primary mission, important enough to list first. Heckuva job Mick.
— Adam Levitin (@AdamLevitin) December 21, 2017
The shift came shortly after Mulvaney told his staff that he'd be adding to its ranks six Trump loyalists.
Among the six, Ryan Grim reported for The Intercept, are "John Czwartacki, who does public relations for the Office of Management and Budget, which Mulvaney also leads. Czwartacki will now do the same job at the CFPB, which, by statute, is supposed to be an independent agency that was created in the aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis."
The staffing announcement drew the ire of CFPB architect Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). She wrote to Mulvaney: "Your naked effort to politicize the consumer agency runs counter to the agency's mission to be an independent voice for consumers with the power to stand up to Wall Street banks."
Trump's appointment of Mulvaney to serve as acting director of the agency following the resignation of Richard Cordray sparked a firestorm of outrage, as well as a lawsuit by CFPB deputy director Leandra English who, citing the law which created the agency, argued that she was the "rightful acting director." She's appealing a district court's decision to block her suit.
Mulvaney, for his part, is still also serving as White House budget chief.