On April 2, 2018, Mick Mulvaney issued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Semi-annual Report, his first such report since being named the CFPB’s Acting Director by President Trump on November 24, 2017. The report covers the period of April 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017.
It begins with an unsurprising recommendation from Mulvaney to rein in the power of the CFPB, an agenda which has been evident since the start of his tenure as acting director and is in accordance with the Trump administration’s deregulation stance and in line with the philosophy of many majority members of Congress.
“As has been evident since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau is far too powerful, and with precious little oversight of its activities.”
Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
In his message, Mulvaney also outlined his recommendation for recalibrating the CFPB:
- Fund the CFPB through Congressional appropriations – This is an idea that has been advocated by other critics of the Dodd-Frank Act. For comparison, some other federal financial regulators are not funded this way, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is funded primarily by assessments on the institutions it supervises.
- Require legislative approval of CFPB major rules – Again, by comparison, the OCC does not require such approval. According to the OCC’s mission statement, it “has the power to” among other things “issues rules and regulations.”
- Ensure that the CFPB Director answers to the President in exercising and executing executive authority.
- Create an independent Inspector General for the CFPB.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series to learn about what the CFPB’s Semi-annual report says about its upcoming rule proposals and final rules.