WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has been reviewing a handful of potential nominees to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and his final pick will be named next week, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday.
The law requires Trump to formally nominate someone to lead the bureau by the end of the month and he will keep that schedule, said Mick Mulvaney, who has led the agency on an interim basis since November.
“The permanent person is going to be named probably mid- to late next week,” Mulvaney told reporters on Tuesday.
Trump met with at least one finalist for the post in recent days, said Mulvaney, who also serves as Trump’s budget chief.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is among the candidates who have been discussed as Trump gets closer to naming someone to run the bureau, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
J. Mark McWatters, a credit union regulator and former congressional staffer, is another top candidate, Bloomberg also reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
McWatters is the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration and a former adviser to Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas. McWatters is considered to be a more moderate choice than others who have been under consideration, such as Todd Zywicki, a George Mason University law professor and a scholar at the conservative Mercatus Center.
Issa isn’t running for re-election.
Trump’s pick will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The upper chamber is already battling a backlog of nominees, meaning Mulvaney is likely to lead the CFPB through the end of the year, he said.
The bureau was conceived after the decade-old global financial crisis to stamp out predatory lending. But Mulvaney has said the agency has gone too far in the past, overstepping its legal mandate.
Elizabeth Warren was instrumental in the formation of the bureau, and the U.S. senator from Massachusetts has been an outspoken critic of Mulvaney’s handling of the agency.
Whoever gets the job would inherit an agency that has worn a bulls-eye since Trump’s election. Mulvaney, a former congressman who frequently blasted the agency when he was in Congress, has cut spending, closed investigations into companies and reorganized staff. The changes have roiled a watchdog that had been a scourge of the financial industry under former President Barack Obama.
Mulvaney said he will ask the Federal Reserve for $65.7 million to cover the CFPB’s operating costs for the fourth quarter, bringing his total budget requests for this year to $381 million. The total is $200 million less than what the agency received from the Fed in 2017.
For next year, Mulvaney said he has directed the staff to propose cuts that would reduce the agency’s budget by 20 percent. While Mulvaney said he doesn’t plan to eliminate jobs, travel is one area where he expects to lower costs by tens of millions of dollars.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.