Warren Says Mulvaney's CFPB `Vanity Project' Has Him MIA at OMB

(Bloomberg) -- Mick Mulvaney is indulging in “an ideologically-driven vanity project” at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that can only mean he’s shirking his duties as President Donald Trump’s top budget official, Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a letter on Friday.

The Massachusetts Democrat said Mulvaney should instead be focusing his attention on preparing for a looming government shutdown next week instead of trying to do double duty at CFPB and the Office of Management and Budget. Trump and Congress still appear far from reaching a funding agreement needed by Dec. 8 to keep the government operating.

Trump picked Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB last month, setting off a fight with Democrats who say the true acting director should be Leandra English, who was named as successor by Richard Cordray when he stepped down as director last week. The Trump administration won an early legal victory keeping Mulvaney in charge this week.

In the letter, Warren said she had obtained an internal Nov. 27 email to staff at OMB in which Mulvaney wrote he “spent most of the day” at the CFPB. Warren said top OMB staff, including the communications director and chief of staff, had also spent a lot of time at the consumer bureau rather than at their usual jobs.

“I understand that, for years, you have committed yourself to advancing an ideologically extreme effort to deregulate the financial industry and destroy the CFPB,” Warren wrote. “Your sole job right now -- and the job of the administration -- should be working with Congress to avoid an impending government shutdown and preparing agencies to cease operations in an organized way in case of a lapse in appropriations.”

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