Warren: Mulvaney is 'hurting real people to score cheap political points'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand unveils bill to offer banking services at post offices Warren challenger sues to keep displaying 'fake Indian' signs Dems demand end to waivers used to pay people with disabilities below minimum wage MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday accused the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of derailing the agency out of politically motivated spite.

Warren said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Finance: Mulvaney remark on lobbyists stuns Washington | Macron takes swipe at Trump tariffs | Conservatives eye tax cut on capital gains | Gillibrand unveils post office banking bill | GOP chairman pushes banks on gun policies Top banking Dem calls for Mulvaney to resign after lobbyist remarks Freedom Caucus chairman seeks clarification from Mulvaney on lobbyist comments MORE had turned her criticism of his tenure into a personal feud.

‘You’ve taken obvious joy in talking about how the agency would help banks much more than consumers, and how upset that would make me,” Warren said.

“But this isn’t about me,” Warren added. “You’re hurting real people to score cheap political points.”

Mulvaney, who’s also the White House budget director, and Warren have sparred for months over the acting director’s legitimacy and efforts to rein in the controversial CFPB. The two have fought through a series of angry letters and public barbs, but had not faced off until Thursday.

Warren is considered the architect of the CFPB, laying the foundation for the bureau as an adviser to then-President Obama in 2011. She has become one of the CFPB’s most vocal defenders since her 2012 election to the Senate.

Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, had fought against the CFPB’s existence and supported several efforts to gut the bureau while serving as a GOP congressman from South Carolina. President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I’m ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated FBI rules MORE appointed Mulvaney to be the acting CFPB chief in November after the resignation of Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayOvernight Finance: Wells Fargo hit with B fine | Top lawmakers want execs punished | Banks cash in on tax law | GOP chair blasts FDIC over data security Hensarling, Waters say Wells Fargo execs should be punished after record fine Americans are set for relief from an Obama-era financial rule MORE (D), the bureau’s first director.

Mulvaney has since taken several steps to transform the bureau from within. He’s suspended the bureau’s collection of data from financial services companies, delayed a polarizing rule on payday loans and reshuffled the agency’s office overseeing lending discrimination.

Democrats and liberal nonprofits once aligned with the CFPB have fumed over Mulvaney’s actions and say he’s aiming to destroy the bureau to protect banks and shady lenders.

Warren has been chief among his critics, supporting a legal challenge to his appointment from the bureau’s deputy director, Leandra English, and demanding answers to dozens of questions about his agenda.

Mulvaney has said his goals are to enforce consumer protection laws and meet the CFPB’s legal obligations. He said the previous CFPB regime waged an ideological crusade against lenders spurred by Warren’s constant criticism of banks.

"I don't want us to be Elizabeth Warren's baby,” Mulvaney said Monday at a conference of community bankers.

He also singled out a small minority of CFPB staffers aligned with “the Elizabeth Warren view of the world that lending money for profit is evil” that he alleges has undermined the bureau with misleading leaks to reporters.

“As long as your associated with one person, be it me or her, you're never going to be taken as seriously as a bureaucracy, as an oversight regulator as you probably should,” Mulvaney said Monday.