Despite insistence that he has not "burned the place down," Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is pushing for increased oversight of the CFPB.
In remarks to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee last week, Mulvaney voiced support for a five-person bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB instead of its current single-director leadership structure.
"I don't know of any director of any bureaucracy who has ever come to you and said, 'Please take my power away,' but that's what I'm doing," Mulvaney told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. "And to the extent you can do that, I think we will all be well-served by it."
Mulvaney is also director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., asked Mulvaney to decide, based on his experiences as budget director, whether a five-member bipartisan commission structure would be suitable for the CFPB. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have similar leadership structures.
Mulvaney said he had no reason to believe the structure wouldn't improve the transparency and accountability of the bureau.
He proposed four ways to limit the CFPB's powers in its semiannual report to Congress— one of which calls for the creation of an independent inspector general for the CFPB. Retaining an independent inspector general would save the bureau $2 million a year, Mulvaney told the Senate Banking Committee.