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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMore Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren Trump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 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 MulvaneyProtect the Military Lending Act On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors 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 TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE appointed Mulvaney to be the acting CFPB chief in November after the resignation of Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordraySherrod Brown says he's 'not actively considering' running for president Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls 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.