House eyes vote on reversing Mulvaney efforts to rein in consumer bureau

House eyes vote on reversing Mulvaney efforts to rein in consumer bureau
© Stefani Reynolds

The House may vote within weeks on a bill to reverse the Trump administration's efforts to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and prevent future directors from doing the same.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Liberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar MORE (D-Md.) wrote in a Thursday letter to Democratic lawmakers that the lower chamber may take up the Consumers First Act next month amid a slew of other legislative priorities.

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Introduced by Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever Banks give Congress, New York AG documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump: report MORE (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, the bill would undo several measures taken to reel back the CFPB’s oversight and regulation under former acting Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' MORE.

Mulvaney, the acting CFPB chief from November 2017 through December 2018, reorganized and weakened the power of the bureau’s Office of Fair Lending, shrank and restaffed several advisory boards and moved toward removing a public database of complaints against banks and lenders.

Mulvaney also changed the bureau’s name to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. That move was reversed in December by his successor, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, after The Hill reported that the move would cost the agency between $9 and $19 million and cost entities regulated by the agency roughly $300 million.

Waters’s bill would reverse changes enacted by Mulvaney and prevent future directors from making similar moves. The bill would also create an Office of Students and Young Consumers focused on student loans, debt repayment and financial product access for young adults and their families.

Waters and Democratic lawmakers were fiercely critical of Mulvaney’s efforts to weaken the CFPB, an agency created in 2010 to protect consumers from predatory and abusive financial practices.

While the bill is likely to pass the Democratic-led House, it is almost certain to die in the Republican-controlled Senate. The GOP was staunchly opposed to the creation of the CFPB through the Dodd-Frank Act, and accused the agency of overstepping and abusing its power under Democratic leadership between 2011 and 2017.