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 HoyerMedia organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA On The Money: Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records | House panel schedules hearing, vote on new NAFTA deal House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal 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 WatersSupreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records Trump tweet mocking Greta Thunberg sparks backlash Melania Trump's 'Be Best' hashtag trends after president goes after Greta Thunberg 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 MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' 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.