Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acting head Mick Mulvaney plans to push for legislative changes to the structure of the agency he helms, all with an eye toward hemming in its authority, according to a draft CFPB document reviewed by The Intercept.
Mulvaney will be asking Congress to approve four changes, all of which appear to be aimed at reducing the bureau’s independence and increasing its reliance on Congress. The changes would be made by altering the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
First, Mulvaney will ask Congress to fund the bureau through congressional appropriations. The CFPB currently is funded by the Federal Reserve. This change would make it easier for Congress to cut funding for the agency, or to bar it from spending money to enforce certain rules.
Then he will ask that Congress be required to affirmatively approve major rules. It is unclear what would count as a major rule, but given the inability of Congress over the past decade to do much in the way of consumer protection, the change would have a clear bias in favor of industry.
Third, he will ask for a legislative change that guarantees that the director answers to the president. (This appears to be in response to a controversy last year over whether President Trump could unilaterally install Mulvaney as acting head of the CFPB without going through Senate confirmation.).
Finally, he is asking for the creation of an independent inspector general for the CFPB.
The document, which is part of the organization’s semi-annual report, is expected to be released this week. A spokesperson for the CFPB didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.