Mulvaney on future of CFPB: I'm not going to blow it up

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE said Monday he's implementing a 30-day hiring and regulatory freeze at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) amid a legal dispute over whether he has the authority to lead the entity. 

“Rumors that I’m going to set the place on fire or blow it up or lock the doors are completely false. I’m a member of the exec. branch of government. We intend to execute the laws of the United States, including the provisions of Dodd-Frank that govern the CFPB,” Mulvaney said at a news conference.


Mulvaney added that the bureau will be run differently under the Trump administration than it was under former President Obama, though he did not have specifics on how.

In the meantime, Mulvaney announced there will be a 30-day hiring and regulatory freeze at the CFPB. Anything already in the works will be stopped for 30 days while Mulvaney takes time to “kick the tires” at the bureau, he said.

There will be no payments out of the civil penalties fund for at least 30 days, he added.

The department will still meet statutory and legal deadlines in that time period, he said.

Mulvaney’s remarks came amid an ongoing dispute over whether he has the legal authority to lead the CFPB.

Former CPFB Director Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordraySupreme Court should do what Congress won’t: Rein in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Congress must restrain power of new consumer financial director Five challenges facing new consumer bureau chief MORE resigned Friday night, but first tapped Leandra English to serve as acting director.

President Trump, however, nominated Mulvaney to be the CFPB’s acting director, claiming he had the power to do so under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

English sued Trump and Mulvaney in federal court Sunday night to block the appointment. Mulvaney has previously called the agency "a sick, sad joke" with no real reason to exist.

Mulvaney noted Monday his opinion of the CFPB has not changed.

The dispute over who sits in the director's chair led to an unorthodox day at the CFPB, where Mulvaney showed up to the office with doughnuts and told employees to ignore directives from English.

English, meanwhile, sent an email to employees and addressed herself as “acting director.”

"It doesn't surprise me, by the way, to the extent we're having a succession challenge, as lodged by Ms. English," Mulvaney said Monday. "It doesn't surprise me that that grows out of an agency that thinks it's not accountable to anybody in the first place."