Press Releases

Waters to Mulvaney: Provide Records on Interactions with Lobbyists

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Washington, DC, April 27, 2018 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who was illegally appointed by President Trump as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Consumer Bureau). In the letter, Ranking Member Waters requested all records regarding Mulvaney’s interactions with representatives of any entity that is regulated by the Consumer Bureau. This request comes on the heels of Mulvaney’s remarks indicating preferential treatment and access for lobbyists who contributed to his political campaigns during his time in Congress.

“This admission continues to underscore the serious concerns that have been raised about the possible continued influence of political contributions on your decision making at the Consumer Bureau. According to your own comments, you would only hear one side of an argument—the side of an industry lobbyist who had made a campaign contribution,” Ranking Member Waters said.

“By definition this means that those who failed to make contributions never had the opportunity to present their side of the argument. In addition to being unfair, this is also contrary to the principles of an open government, principles I am concerned you are now undermining at the Consumer Bureau.”

See the full text of the letter below.

April 27, 2018

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney
Director
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Director Mulvaney:

On January 31, I, along with Senator Warren and other Members of Congress, wrote you a letter seeking information regarding the Consumer Bureau’s actions benefiting payday lenders to learn whether these actions were motivated by your receipt of over $60,000 in political contributions from the payday loan industry while serving in Congress. In your February 15 response, which failed to answer any of my questions, you stated:

“I reject your insinuation - repeated three times in as many pages - that my actions as Acting Director are based on considerations other than a careful examination of the law and facts particular to any matter.

Civil discourse rests upon our reciprocal understanding that no matter how strongly we may disagree on matters of policy, we are motivated by principle and our mutual desire to serve the American people to the best of our abilities.”

However, on Tuesday, you told an audience of bankers and financial industry lobbyists that as a congressman you would only meet with lobbyists who had contributed to your campaigns.[1]  According to a transcript of your remarks, you stated:

“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. 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.”

This admission continues to underscore the serious concerns that have been raised about the possible continued influence of political contributions on your decision making at the Consumer Bureau. According to your own comments, you would only hear one side of an argument—the side of an industry lobbyist who had made a campaign contribution. By definition this means that those who failed to make contributions never had the opportunity to present their side of the argument. In addition to being unfair, this is also contrary to the principles of an open government, principles I am concerned you are now undermining at the Consumer Bureau.

Therefore, in order to allow me to understand the extent to which you have transferred the “hierarchy” you implemented in your Congressional office to the Consumer Bureau, please provide the following materials no later than May 9, 2018:

Any and all records concerning the planning, scheduling, and substantive content of any meetings—whether in-person, via telephone, via video conferencing, or through any other means—involving you and any representative of any entity or industry (including trade associations, companies or their subsidiaries) that is regulated by the Consumer Bureau. This request includes, but is not limited to, calendars, electronic calendar invitations, visitor logs, agendas, minutes, e-mails and notes.

I look forward to your prompt response to this matter.


Sincerely,

MAXINE WATERS


cc: The Honorable Jeb Hensarling, Chairman


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1. Glenn Thrush, Mulvaney, Watchdog Bureau’s Leader, Advises Bankers on Ways to Curtail Agency, N.Y. TIMES, Apr. 24, 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/us/mulvaney-consumer-financial-protection-bureau.html

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Tags: CFPB



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