Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Finanical Protection Bureau, takes questions from reporters during a briefing at the White House on March 16, 2017. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

'What Happens When You Put Someone in Charge of Agency They Think Shouldn't Exist,' Says Warren After Mulvaney Guts CFPB Panel

"Mulvaney is only interested in obtaining views from his inner circle, and has no interest in hearing the perspectives of those who work with struggling American families," says the board's ousted chair

Jessica Corbett

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), disbanded the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) on Wednesday in what critics are calling just his latest in a series of moves to "quietly sabotage" the agency.

"Mick Mulvaney will always stand up for the powerful Wall Street special interests... He'll burry his head in the sand so he doesn't have to hear the voices of consumers, experts, and those who want him to fulfill the mission of the CFPB."
—Karl Frisch,
Allied Progress

"Everyone on the board has been fired," said Judith Fox, a professor of consumer law at Notre Dame Law School and three-year member of CAB—a group of 25 economic and financal experts that the watchdog agency is legally required to meet with at least twice a year.

Several other ousted CAB members confirmed Fox's statement to the Associated Press, sharing details from a Wednesday conference call and an email officially dismissing them. While the board will be reconstituted later this year, Fox said none of the fired members will be allowed to apply.

"Firing the current CAB members is another move indicating Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is only interested in obtaining views from his inner circle, and has no interest in hearing the perspectives of those who work with struggling American families," responded ousted CAB chair Ann Baddour, a project director at the nonprofit Texas Appleseed.

"This is what happens when you put someone in charge of an agency they think shouldn't exist," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who played a key part in establishing the CFPB.

Karl Frisch, executive director of the advocacy group Allied Progress, said the decision demonstrates "Mick Mulvaney is only looking out for his Wall Street friends that have showered him with more than a million dollars in campaign cash over the years." 

"When push comes to shove, Mick Mulvaney will always stand up for the powerful Wall Street special interests that have had his back. He'll burry his head in the sand so he doesn't have to hear the voices of consumers, experts, and those who want him to fulfill the mission of the CFPB," Frisch added. "Consumers deserve a champion not a corporate shill."

"Apparently Acting Director Mulvaney is willing to listen to industry lobbyists who make campaign contributions, but not the statutorily appointed Consumer Advisory Board members," said National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) attorney Chi Chi Wu, another fired CAB member. "Firing current members of the advisory board is a huge red flag in this administration's ongoing erosion of critical consumer financial protections that help average families."

The CFPB said in a statement that it "will continue to fulfill its statutory obligations to convene the Consumer Advisory Board and will continue to provide forums for the Community Bank Advisory Council and the Credit Union Advisory Council. The Bureau will continue these advisory groups and will use the current 2018 application and selection process to reconstitute the current advisory groups with new, smaller memberships."

Ousted board member Max Levchin, founder of financial services company Affirm, rejected the agency's claims that the decision was motivated by desires to diversify membership and save money. He also warned that "without this direct line to all stakeholders, CFPB's job becomes much harder, perhaps nearly impossible."

The announcement on Wednesday followed a report earlier this week by David Dayen at The Intercept that during Mulvaney's tenure as head of the CFPB, the agency has ignored both rules and established precedent, cancelling two in-person board meetings and several conference calls with little notice.

"It's disturbing to watch the current administration of this bureau do so much to undermine the bureau's core," Lynn Drysdale, then-vice chair of CAB, had told Dayen. "The present administration is more concerned with restructuring and installing political staff than protecting consumers."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·


Poll Shows Majority in US Want Diplomacy, Not War With Russia Over Ukraine

The survey's findings echo the pleas of progressive lawmakers, who assert "there is no military solution" to the crisis involving the world's two foremost nuclear powers.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Abortion Bans Kill People': Death of Woman Unleashes Protests in Poland

"The politicized tribunal has caused hell for women in Poland that must end as soon as possible—before another one of us dies."

Jessica Corbett ·


Clyburn Asks: Who Would Oppose Means-Testing Child Tax Credit? Answer: Lots of People

"There is literally not a single thing that the means-tested approach is better at than the universal approach," said one policy expert.

Jake Johnson ·


'Time to Rebuild This Nation': Fetterman Speaks Out After Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse

"This collapse is just the latest in a long line of preventable, man-made disasters that prove what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Our infrastructure is failing our people."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo