Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Public comment: Don't let Mulvaney destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, just admitted to a room full of bank lobbyists that as a congressman he only held meetings with lobbyists who donated money to his campaigns.He went on to tell the nearly 1,000 bankers gathered in Washington that "their input on the extensive powers of the CFPB could help rein in the agency long loathed by the financial sector."2Mick Mulvaney, Trump's interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, just admitted to a room full of bank lobbyists that as a congressman he only held meetings with lobbyists who donated money to his campaigns.1
Mulvaney's remarks were no coincidence: He recently asked for comments on the role and structure of the CFPB. But he did it quietly, hoping that only bank lobbyists would respond and give him legitimacy to tear the agency apart.
Submit a public comment to Mick Mulvaney, interim director of the CFPB:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau protects Americans from abuse and predatory scams by the financial industry. Any changes to its mission, processes and structure, like ending the public complaint database, are nothing more than a bank bailout in disguise.
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We can't let that happen. We need to flood the CFPB with comments to make it clear to Mick Mulvaney and Trump that we won't sit idly by while they destroy the one watchdog completely devoted to protecting Americans from Wall Street.
Mulvaney has called the CFPB “a sick, sad joke” and requested a budget of $0 for the entire agency.3 Already, Mulvaney has curtailed the CFPB’s desperately needed payday lending rule, giving a massive handout to predatory and exploitative payday lenders who intentionally trap people in cycles of debt with interest rates in excess of 300 percent.4 He just recently announced plans to kill a public database of consumer complaints in a blatant attempt to hide financial industry abuses from the American people.5
On top of it all, Mulvaney is trying to sabotage the CFPB from within by making changes to its structure. In a recent report to Congress, he asked for Trump to have more power over who leads the agency and to force the agency to beg right-wing Republicans for funding instead of having an independent funding base from the Federal Reserve. Also on Mulvaney’s wish list is giving Republicans in Congress veto power over any new rule the CFPB puts out.His overall goal is to remove the political independence that the agency’s creators, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, thought so essential to it being able to fight Wall Street.
Now, he's making an underhanded attempt to claim the public supports his radical agenda – which is why we need to overwhelm bank lobbyist messages with comments of our own.
If you want to know why Donald Trump and Republicans are so desperate to destroy the CFPB, just take a glance at its record:
In less than six years the CFPB extracted $12 billion from corporations and returned it to a total of 29 million defrauded Americans. Most of that money was paid in large sums, as in 2015 when the agency forced two debt-buying companies — Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates — to pay $79 million in refunds and penalties to tens of thousands of people the companies had fleeced. The CFPB has also engaged in policymaking, issuing new rules for home-mortgage lenders in 2013 that took aim at banks’ pattern of intentionally lending money they know borrowers can’t repay, at high interest rates. In 2016, the agency also instituted new guidelines for payday lenders in an attempt to stop loan sharks from targeting desperate people boxed out of traditional financial services due to debt and bad credit.7
CREDO members and progressive allies have successfully defended the CFPB in the past, but now we are needed once again. We cannot let Trump give Wall Street a massive victory.
Submit a public comment: Don't let Mulvaney and Trump destroy the CFPB. Click below to submit your comment:
-Josh Nelson, CREDO Action from 
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  1. Sylvan Lane, "Mulvaney to bankers: Your input will help limit consumer bureau's power," The Hill, April 24, 2018.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Meagan Day, “The Bankers’ Coup,” Jacobin, April 2018.
  4. Bess Levin, “Trump official lays out point-by-point plan to screw over consumers,” Vanity Fair, April 3, 2018.
  5. Yuka Hayashi, "CFPB Considers Ending Public Access to Complaints About Banks," The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2018.
  6. Day, “The Bankers’ Coup.”
  7. Ibid.

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