President Trump’s plan to gut and dismember the government from top to bottom hinges on him making sure that the people he appoints to run federal agencies have nothing but disdain for the missions those agencies are supposed to pursue.
Mick Mulvaney was given the job of running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the full knowledge that he had no intention of safeguarding the interests of American consumers. His goal is to undermine, weaken, and presumably eventually dissolve the entire CFPB.
Yesterday, Mulvaney took one of his biggest bites out of the CFPB to date by firing its 25 person oversight body, the Consumer Advisory Board, according to The Washington Post. The CFPB stated that the board will be filled with new members come the fall, but none of the fired members will be able to reapply for their spots.
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The move appears to be motivated by pure political cynicism and is nothing more than an effort to quash the remaining dissent within the CFPB over Mulvaney’s leadership. This maneuver also comes on the tail of a Monday press conference in which several members of the board criticized Mulvaney. One of their primary concerns was his cancellation of meetings with the board that he is legally obligated to attend.
Democrats are, for obvious reasons, deeply concerned about the announcement and correctly recognize it as a key part of Mulvaney’s larger strategy to destabilize the CFPB.
“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,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren played a key role in conceptualizing and creating the CFPB.
Sen. Warren’s assessment is more than fair. Trump and Mulvaney are beholden to big business interests and have little to no concern for how their actions negatively affect consumers.
Mulvaney has no place running this agency and, given this administration’s penchant for mendacity, the claim that the board will be filled in the fall can’t be taken at face value. It’s entirely plausible that they’ll simply never refill the seats, which can’t be allowed to happen. Mulvaney must be challenged at every turn.