FILE - In this June 8, 2015, file photo, credit card customers are directed to a pay station at the green market in downtown Miami. On Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, the Federal Reserve releases its June report on consumer borrowing. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File) (AP)

Donald Trump has destroyed the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

Trump's interim head of the agency meant to protect consumers has already undermined its core mission


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Matthew Rozsa
December 22, 2017 8:21PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump hasn't even appointed a permanent director to the CPFB, but already it seems like he has wreaked havoc on the organization.

Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget who is serving as the temporary head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, has changed that agency's mission statement in a way that fundamentally alters its mission. Here was the agency's mission statement prior to Mulvaney taking over, according to Politico.

The CFPB is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

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Under Mulvaney, however, the mission statement has been changed to this:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

When the previous head of the CFPB Richard Cordray resigned last month, he appointed the agency's deputy director Leandra English to be his temporary replacement even though Trump wanted to appoint Mulvaney. This resulted in a lawsuit that the Trump administration ultimately won, allowing Mulvaney to serve as the temporary head of the agency until Trump can appoint a permanent replacement.

Mulvaney made it clear soon after his appointment that he did not approve of the work of the agency which he had been tapped to lead.

"The structure of the CFPB is just fundamentally flawed. The authority that I have now as the acting director really should frighten people," Mulvaney told Fox News' Lou Dobbs earlier this month. "You could sit down in a room with three or four people and say, 'Well, let's go off and do this.' And there's no accountability to Congress. I can set the budget pretty much without any input from Congress. In fact, without any input from Congress. We get an allotment from the Federal Reserve. So it's, on one hand, people call it independent, but the real bottom line is, it's simply unaccountable."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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