Blue State AGs Tell Trump They'll Be Watching Mulvaney's CFPB

(Bloomberg) -- A group of Democratic state attorneys general told President Donald Trump they’re prepared to take matters into their own hands if the administration fails to enforce consumer-protection laws.

Trump’s choice of budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Mulvaney has mocked, suggests the consumer watchdog may be less-than-zealous under his watch, 17 attorneys general wrote Tuesday in a letter to the president. The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his California counterpart, Xavier Becerra, said they’ll pick up wherever Mulvaney leaves off.

"State attorneys general have express statutory authority to enforce federal consumer protection laws, as well as the consumer protection laws of our respective states," the group said. "We will continue to enforce those laws vigorously regardless of changes to CFPB’s leadership or agenda."

Many of the same AGs filed a legal brief last week backing a suit by the CFPB’s deputy director, Leandra English, who claims she’s in charge. A U.S. judge last month rejected her initial request to block Mulvaney’s appointment.

The watchdog, created in the wake of the financial crisis, has returned $12 billion to more than 29 million consumers who were victims of "unscrupulous actors," including mortgage servicers and debt settlement firms, the attorneys general said. The letter was also signed by AGs from Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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