In keeping with the current administration’s agenda to render important governmental departments toothless, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney fired the entire 25-member board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Wednesday.
In his short six-month tenure in the bureau Mulvaney has worked tirelessly to use the bureau to support big business interests.
The bureau’s policy associate director Anthony Welcher reportedly told board members that they were not permitted to reapply for their positions after their dismissal.
The bureau’s founder and architect, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), explicitly condemned the decision.
“Mick Mulvaney has no intention of putting consumers above financial firms that cheat them. This is what happens when you put someone in charge of an agency they think shouldn’t exist.”
The Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) has consistently opposed Mulvaney’s attempts to loosen CFPB regulations pertaining to banks and lenders and have criticized him for being unwilling to consider differing opinions.
“The current leadership has no legitimate rationale for why they’ve dismissed anyone other than they don’t want to hear dissenting voices.” — Josh Zinner, CEO of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and former CAB member
The CAB’s existence is mandated by the now-endgangered Dodd-Frank Act, which also requires that the bureau director meet with the CAB at least twice per year — something Mulvaney has repeatedly refused to do.
According to board members, the most Mulvaney has ever managed was a single 20-minute phone call.
The board is comprised of outside experts tasked with weighing in on economic and financial issues and their impacts on consumers. Members are not paid to be on the board.
“The reason to let us go is an attempt to silence the voices that would be concerned about the direction the bureau has taken under this administration.” — Zinner
According to a recording of the conference call Wednesday, several board members offered to cover their own travel and lodging expenses in response to the claim that the firings were necessary to reduce costs.
Two other subsidiary boards of the CFPB were also dissolved — one which deals with credit unions and another that supports small community banks. In total, 60 members across all three boards were dismissed.
Some board members have expressed interest in pursuing legal options in response to their dismissal.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.
To read about the degradation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, click here.