Even though he has not hid his disdain for the agency, Mick Mulvaney is “having a blast” running the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, according to a lengthy feature of the regulator’s acting director.
Mulvaney’s objective is to turn the CFPB or BCFP into a regulator like the Securities & Exchange Commission, which regulates publicly traded companies and stock markets and protects investors.
To his credit, Mulvaney is not afraid of engaging with anyone on any topic. The feature spends a large amount of time on new frosted plastic that was put on the glass doors and walls in some of the offices at the agency’s headquarters. While Mulvaney says he has a letter that proves this was ordered by former director Richard Cordray, many of Mulvaney’s critics have used the frosted plastic as a metaphor for how he is running the agency. When questioned by Rep. Keith Ellison [D-Minn.] about whether people could see into his office, Mulvaney replied with the same question for Rep. Ellison. “I’ve been to your office,” Mulvaney said, “and I can’t see into it.”
Ellison responded with a letter following up with more questions about the plastic, to which Mulvaney responded, by calculating how much of his office was transparent (69.2%, according to his calculations).
Another important area of focus for Mulvaney is cutting the agency’s budget, according to the article. Some reports have put the amount expected to be cut from the CFPB’s budget at 20% for the next fiscal year.
Critics argue that Mulvaney is trying to make the agency a less fun place to work so that the unionized employees quit because he can’t fire most of them.
At least Mulvaney admits it’s now in poor taste for him to maintain the opinion that the CFPB should be abolished.
“It’s not really appropriate for someone running the bureau to say the bureau shouldn’t exist,” Mulvaney says. “That would be the equivalent of having a general say the Army’s unconstitutional. The system breaks down when you do that. If the president thinks it’s unconstitutional, then that’s something that we’d have to consider.”