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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump surprises with consumer agency pick Senate passes 6B defense bill Dems must stop picking foxes to guard the financial hen house 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 MulvaneyTrump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril Trump surprises with consumer agency pick On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump nominates budget official Kraninger for consumer chief | Senate votes to block Trump ZTE deal | Stocks fall on trade tensions | House panel moves to markup budget 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 Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE appointed Mulvaney to be the acting CFPB chief in November after the resignation of Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayTrump surprises with consumer agency pick Trump nominates budget official Kraninger to lead consumer bureau Trump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief 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.