Mulvaney: CFPB will take 'humble approach'

Wells Fargo Faces Nasty Fine

That's likely no fluke: Mick Mulvaney, appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in late November, promised to shrink the bureau's mandate and take a much softer approach to enforcement, and records reviewed by The Associated Press indicate he has kept his word.

In the roughly seven years it has been in existence, the bureau has returned $3.97 billion in cash back to American consumers through enforcement actions and an additional $7.93 billion in other types of relief, such as lower loan balances or debt relief, based on the CFPB's records.

Mick Mulvaney, interim CFPB director, testified in February about the Trump administration's budget.

Representative Carolyn Maloney of NY said: "We have essentially taken the cop off the beat".

Mulvaney said he had taken the "extraordinary step" of ratifying enforcement actions initiated by his predecessor, Richard Cordray, in moves meant to prevent the agency's targets from continuing to challenge the agency's independent, single-director design. "That's enough for me", Mulvaney said. "We are just doing it differently and with more restraint than the previous leadership was doing". However, he said "regulation by enforcement is done".

"You said, to be perfectly honest, you didn't like the fact that the CFPB exists", said Meeks, referring to comments Mulvaney made while serving in the House. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMulvaney blasts leaks from within consumer bureau How Washington can tackle hearing loss related to diabetes Lawmakers congratulate Duckworth on birth of daughter MORE (D-Mass.) and has been fiercely defended by her party.

But Mulvaney was adamant that the agency has not ceased investigations and said his perspective of the CFPB has improved after having worked with the agency's staff. The acting director and his Republican allies insist he's bringing the CFPB in line with the law, while Democrats claim he's hijacked the agency to protect banks and special interests.

In the letter, the trades also noted that similar legislation for a CFPB commission has passed the House Financial Services Committee six times and the U.S. House of Representatives four times, and that the version of the Dodd-Frank Act the House passed in 2009 included a provision establishing a five-member commission.

"The best way to get rid of the bureau would be to take it over and get rid of it", Meeks said.

Hensarling, R-Texas, is a longtime critic of the CFPB, and has sponsored several bills that would either abolish or severely restrict the bureau's ability.

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