Trump should have nixed the rogue CFPB agency last year, but he did the next best thing in putting Mick Mulvaney in charge of it.
Well now Mulvaney has just fired the entire 25 member team that advised the board:
WAPO – Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, fired the agency’s 25-member advisory board Wednesday, days after some of its members criticized his leadership of the watchdog agency.
The CFPB said it will revamp the Consumer Advisory Board, known as the CAB, in the fall with all new members.
The panel has traditionally played an influential role in advising the CFPB’s leadership on new regulations and policies. But some members, who include prominent consumer advocates, academics and industry executives, began to complain that Mulvaney was ignoring them and making unwise decisions about the agency’s future.
On Monday, 11 CAB members held a news conference and criticized Mulvaney for, among other things, canceling legally required meetings with the group.
On Wednesday, group members were notified that they were being replaced — and that they could not reapply for spots on the new board.
In a statement, the agency’s spokesman, John Czwartacki, took a final swipe at the group. “The outspoken members of the Consumer Advisory Board seem more concerned about protecting their taxpayer funded junkets to Washington, D.C., and being wined and dined by the Bureau than protecting consumers,” he said.
Revamping the board is part of the CFPB’s new approach to reaching out to stakeholders to “increase high quality feedback,” the bureau said in an email to the group. The CFPB will hold more town halls and roundtable discussions, the letter said, and the new CAB will have fewer members.
Of course Democrats are going to try and make hay over this:
“Mick Mulvaney has no intention of putting consumers above financial firms that cheat them. This is what happens when you put someone in charge of an agency they think shouldn’t exist,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who helped conceive of the bureau, said in a statement.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said: “Mulvaney has proven once again he would rather cozy up with payday lenders and industry insiders than listen to consumer advocates who want to make sure hard-working Americans are not cheated by financial scams.”
I’m sure the advisory board needed purging, but in all honesty the CFPB needs to be shut down. As Steve Hayes explained last year, the board is a rogue independent agency that has a broad mandate to end “unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices,” all in the name of protecting the consumer. But this could mean anything to anyone. And the board isn’t accountable to Congress which means there’s no appropriate oversight. Which means they can do what they want.
Now I’m glad that Mulvaney is in charge, but what happens when a Democratic administration takes charge again? It’s the same argument I made when the administration didn’t want to repeal the executive regulatory infrastructure that Obamacare put in place.