Mulvaney fires back after Warren questions CFPB leadership
Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is firing back at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) after she questioned his actions and leadership of the bureau.
Mulvaney told Warren in a letter the CFPB made public Thursday that he has a different take on what is actually happening at the bureau and suggested that her frustrations are a consequence of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, which she spearheaded.
Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he too was frustrated with what he perceived to be a lack of responsiveness, transparency and accountability at the bureau when he was a member of Congress and sat on the House Financial Services Committee.
“I encourage you to consider the possibility that the frustration you are experiencing now, and that which I had a few years ago, are both inevitable consequences of the fact that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act insulates the Bureau from virtually any accountability to the American people through their elected representatives,” he wrote.
In a 17-page letter last month, Warren accused Mulvaney of ignoring or providing evasive, misleading or incomplete answers to 105 of the 125 questions she’s asked in nine letters since November.
“That is an unacceptable track record for a public official,” she said in a statement at the time.
But in his response, Mulvaney suggested Warren is to blame for creating a bureau that’s less accountable than other government bureaucracies.
“You originally conceived of this agency as one that should be ‘free of legislative micromanaging’ and recently reiterated that ‘the whole idea’ of the Bureau was to ‘insulate it from political influence to the extent possible,’ but I think most folks would interpret that exactly as I am suggesting: less accountable and less transparent,” he said.
Though Mulvaney said that he’s trying to improve the bureau’s record somewhat, the only way to transform its DNA is to change oversight requirements.
Mulvaney also said Warren will have to wait for answers to her 105 questions.
“As to the 105 specific written interrogatories in your most recent letter: the law requires me to appear before Congress at semi-annual hearings,” he wrote. “I am looking forward to satisfying that statutory requirement this month. And I look forward to discussing these issues and my legislative recommendations for the Bureau when I testify before the Committee.”
Warren’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.