Trump's head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney knows he has one job: to keep the CFPB from laying a glove on banks and mortgage lenders while openly shilling for filthy lucre to grease the wheels of commerce.
Mick Mulvaney, the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told banking industry executives on Tuesday that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their agenda, and revealed that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists if they had contributed to his campaign.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mr. Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker from South Carolina, told 1,300 bankers and lending industry officials at an American Bankers Association conference in Washington. “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.”
At the top of the hierarchy, he added, were his constituents. “If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talked to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions,” said Mr. Mulvaney, who receivednearly $63,000 from payday lenders for his congressional campaigns.
Mr. Mulvaney, who also runs the White House budget office, is a longtime critic of the Obama-era consumer bureau, including while serving in Congress. He was tapped by President Trump in November to temporarily run the bureau, in part because of his promise to sharply curtail it.
Since then, he has frozen all new investigations and slowed down existing inquiries by requiring employees to produce detailed justifications. He also sharply restricted the bureau’s access to bank data, arguing that its investigations created online security risks. And he has scaled back efforts to go after payday lenders, auto lenders and other financial services companies accused of preying on the vulnerable.
But he wants Congress to go further and has urged it to wrest funding of the independent watchdog from the Federal Reserve, a move that would give lawmakers — and those with access to them — more influence on the bureau’s actions. On Tuesday, he implored the financial services industry to help support the legislative changes he has requested.
At least he's being honest. After all, Trump's tax scam bill got the six largest US banks more than $3 billion in tax savings so far this year alone, and it will be tens of billions more in the future. Mulvaney's straight up telling the banks to use that money to buy Congress to have them do everything they can to defund the bureau he's been tasked to run.
This is how America works now in the Trump era. Unless we get rid of the GOP, it will be the way America works forever.