On April 2, 2018, Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), issued his first report to Congress on the CFPB, requesting that the agency’s independence and power be limited
Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFPB is authorized as an agency responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. Dodd-Frank currently provides the agency with a great deal of independence, including providing a funding mechanism outside of the usual Congressional appropriations process and limiting the President’s ability to remove the Director only “for cause”.
In the introduction to his report, Mulvaney characterized the CFPB as “far too powerful and with precious little oversight of its activities”, and criticized the agency’s “lack of accountability to any representative branch of government.” He urged Congress to significantly curtail the agency’s independence and increase Congressional oversight. To that end, Mulvaney requested that Congress make the following changes:
- Fund the CFPB through Congressional appropriations;
- Require legislative approval of major CFPB rules;
- Ensure that the Director answers to the President in the exercise of executive authority; and
- Create an independent Inspector General for the CFPB.
Mulvaney anticipated opposition from members of Congress to his proposal, and he is expected to testify before Congress soon regarding his report.