May 10, 2018

Warren Joins Brown, Colleagues in Calling on Mulvaney to Turn Over Meeting Records After ‘Pay to Play’ Comments

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC – This week, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, in calling on Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to make available documents related to his scheduling policies at OMB and CFPB since his Senate confirmation in early 2017 for public review to determine if he has continued the ‘pay to play’ policy in the Trump Administration.  Senators Warren and Brown were joined by 20 of their Senate colleagues.

According to news reports, Mulvaney told the group of banking lobbyists that when he served in the House of Representatives: “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

While Mulvaney claimed that he met with South Carolina constituents regardless of their contributions, fulfilling a basic obligation of his job in no way excuses his policy of trading access in exchange for political contributions.

“We agree that Senators and Members of Congress should make every effort to meet with the people from the states we represent. However, we strongly disagree with your policy of accepting meetings based on whether a lobbyist had made campaign contributions,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators went on to write, “Selling access to a Congressional office is unconscionable. Nowhere does the Constitution state that Americans should have to buy their constitutional right to petition the government. This policy, formal or informal, is anti-democratic, unethical; and if it’s not illegal, it should be.”

Joining Brown and Warren on the letter are U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.Mex), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.),  Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).