December 01, 2017

Warren Requests Inspector General Review of Mulvaney's Orders to Freeze CFPB Activity

Mulvaney Moratorium Wastes Taxpayer Dollars and Prevents Agency from Fulfilling Its Congressional Mandate

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC -  United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Inspector General of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to review a series of directives to halt CFPB activity ordered by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney after President Trump attempted to name him as acting director of the CFPB.

Senator Warren raised a number of concerns about Mr. Mulvaney's actions at the CFPB, including a 30 day freeze on new rules, regulations and guidance and  on "anything that's in the pipeline".  Sen. Warren also raised questions about whether the moratorium has halted CFPB enforcement actions, including an imminent lawsuit against Santander, a Spanish bank that allegedly overcharged borrowers on auto loans. Reports indicated the CFPB was preparing to sue as early as this week, but no action has yet been taken against the bank, which hired Mr. Mulvaney's former chief of staff as a top lobbyist earlier this year.

"Mr. Mulvaney provided no clarity on his authority to enact these moratoria, their impact, or how they would be implemented. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Mulvaney appears to have announced a 30-day shutdown of the CFPB," wrote Senator Warren. "This represents a waste of taxpayer dollars and raises questions about whether Mr. Mulvaney has prevented the CFPB from fulfilling its congressional mandate."

Senator Warren asked the CFPB's Inspector General to review the authority under which Mr. Mulvaney imposed the moratorium, as well as the hiring freeze and freeze on payments from the agency's Civil Penalty Fund. She also requested a complete list of actions affected by Mr. Mulvaney's freeze, their impact on consumers, and whether Mr. Mulvaney or any other officials communicated with lobbyists or industry representatives about the actions in the days surrounding their announcement.