The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has used the agency’s lack of accountability to Congress – the very structure Congress set up in the Dodd-Frank Act – to refuse to answer congressional Democrats’ questions about his stewardship of the agency.
In a written response to a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney said he wouldn’t answer questions that she and other Democrats have posed about his oversight of the agency, according to an American Banker report.
“I could go through the almost eleven pages of single-spaced allegations of all that has supposedly gone wrong at the Bureau under my leadership,” Mulvaney wrote. “As you can imagine, I have a very different take on what is actually happening at the Bureau (and, tellingly, my information is based on being here and does not rely on sources such as leaked – and sometimes provably false – materials).”
Mulvaney blamed the structure of the CFPB, which he said protects the agency from “virtually any accountability.” He told Warren that the agency’s oversight requirements needed to be changed.
“When I served in the House Committee on Financial Services as a Member of Congress, I was frequently frustrated with what I perceived to be a lack of responsiveness, transparency and accountability at the Bureau,” he wrote. “I encourage you to consider the possibility that the frustration you are experiencing now, and that which I had a few years back, are both inevitable consequences of the fact that (the Dodd-Frank Act) insulates the Bureau from virtually any accountability.”
Mulvaney said that he was “trying to improve” the agency’s transparency and accountability, American Banker reported. However, he said that “none of that will change the Bureau’s DNA, which is the Dodd-Frank Act that created it. Only by changing the oversight requirements can the Bureau truly be made permanently accountable and transparent.”