President Trump is reportedly eyeing current White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as Richard Cordray’s replacement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — an agency that Mulvaney has consistently opposed in the past.
“I don’t like the fact that the CFPB exists,” Mulvaney said during a 2015 House committee meeting while serving as a representative from South Carolina, per Slate. “I will be perfectly honest with you.”
The rest of the transcript reveals a more nuanced look at the issue, which was part of a larger conversation about alleged discrimination at the bureau. In the exchange, Mulvaney responded to an assertion that the House should be doing more to investigate discriminatory lending practices.
“But it does [exist], and its job is to do exactly what you just said. It is their job to do this full-time,” Mulvaney said of the CFPB’s role in investigating mortgage banking issues.
Though Trump hasn’t officially tapped Mulvaney for the position, the early reports have stirred up speculation about how the budget director would run the bureau. In addition to his comments regarding the CFPB’s existence, Slate pointed out that Mulvaney co-sponsored a bill in the summer of 2015 that would have eliminated the CFPB entirely by repealing a portion of the Dodd-Frank bill that initially created the bureau back in 2010.
Mulvaney also called the CFPB a “sick, sad joke,” according to multiple news reports.
A Mulvaney-led CFPB would likely have a significantly different trajectory than the bureau had under Cordray, who announced his departure amid rumors that he’s eyeing the Democratic nomination for the Ohio governorship in 2018.
Nominated and confirmed under the Obama administration, Cordray spearheaded a variety of actions targeting the reverse mortgage industry, including warnings and fines over deceptive advertising and, most recently, a report discouraging the use of HECMs to delay Social Security benefits.
As acting director, Mulvaney could theoretically keep his post as budget director and helm the CFPB, the Atlantic pointed out; since he’s already been confirmed by the Senate in his current position, he does not need additional approval to lead the CFPB in an acting capacity.
Written by Alex Spanko