Mick Mulvaney Faces Lawmakers President Trump's pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney faced lawmakers on Capitol Hill for the first time. His main antagonist was Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
NPR logo

Mick Mulvaney Faces Lawmakers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602090980/602090981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Mick Mulvaney Faces Lawmakers

Mick Mulvaney Faces Lawmakers

Mick Mulvaney Faces Lawmakers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602090980/602090981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Trump's pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney faced lawmakers on Capitol Hill for the first time. His main antagonist was Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

NOEL KING, HOST:

There was a faceoff on Capitol Hill yesterday. On one side, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. She helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the financial crisis. On the other side, the Trump administration's interim director of the bureau. He wants to dramatically scale back its power. NPR's Chris Arnold has the story.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: When Mick Mulvaney was a Republican congressman, he sponsored a bill to abolish the Consumer Protection Bureau. Now that he's running it, the bureau's dropped a lawsuit against alleged predatory lenders. And Democrats say he hasn't done anything to help consumers. In a Senate hearing, Elizabeth Warren told Mulvaney...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH WARREN: You are hurting real people to score cheap political points.

ARNOLD: Warren talked about some of the real people who the bureau helped before Mulvaney got there. It's gone after financial firms and returned $12 billion to people. She said one case involved active-duty service members who got scam car loans.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WARREN: Those 50,000 active-duty military would have been out of luck if the CFPB had been abolished just like you wanted, right, Mr. Mulvaney?

MICK MULVANEY: Again, the OCC has concurrent jurisdiction.

WARREN: Yeah. They have concurrent jurisdiction, which they did not use.

ARNOLD: Mulvaney, for his part, told lawmakers in the House and Senate that he is enforcing the law and not dismantling the bureau.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MULVANEY: I have not burnt the place down.

ARNOLD: But before Mulvaney, the bureau was bringing several enforcement actions a month, and he acknowledged...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MULVANEY: We have initiated none since I've been there.

ARNOLD: Mulvaney says he intends to be a less aggressive regulator and he'd like that to continue after he's gone. He wants Congress to put the watchdog bureau on a much shorter leash. For one thing, the bureau now gets its funding from the Fed. Mulvaney wants it to have to ask Congress for money. And he told lawmakers...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MULVANEY: Why y'all wanted to give up the appropriation power that Congress has over this agency, I don't understand.

ARNOLD: It's unlikely Republicans have the votes to make big changes to weaken the Consumer Bureau, but consumer advocates are still worried that Mulvaney might throw out more ongoing lawsuits and revoke or change consumer protection rules. Chris Arnold, NPR News.

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.