Warren vs. Mulvaney: She's Not Buying Pledge to Keep CFPB Alive

(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren isn’t buying it.

In her much-anticipated clash with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, Warren accused the former GOP congressman of putting politics ahead of protecting consumers.

The Massachusetts senator rattled off a list of enforcement actions against Citigroup Inc. and other firms that the agency settled under its previous leadership. Her argument: Those cases wouldn’t have happened if Mulvaney had succeeded in shutting the watchdog down while he was a House lawmaker.

“In Congress, you repeatedly tried to kill the agency," Warren told Mulvaney at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday. “You are hurting real people to score cheap political points."

Mulvaney said that each of the enforcement actions Warren cited could have been handled by other agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Trade Commission. Warren insisted that consumers would have only seen relief because of the actions of the CFPB.

The faceoff indicates Warren doesn’t believe Mulvaney’s pledges since taking over the CFPB in November to continue carrying out its duties and to run the agency with humility. He has said multiple times that many of the regulator’s employees have been pleased with his approach, concluding that he doesn’t plan to “burn the place down.”

Among other key topics that came up at the hearing was compensation for CFPB officials hired by Mulvaney, who also serves as President Donald Trump’s budget director. Mulvaney, a self-described fiscal hawk, has brought on top advisers who were previously GOP congressional aides. In at least one case, their annual salaries exceed $250,000.

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