‘I am not trying to starve the agency,' CFPB chief reiterates

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WASHINGTON — Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reiterated on Tuesday that his zero-funding request for the agency is not meant to drain it of resources.

In a recent letter to Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, Mulvaney requested zero additional funds for the CFPB in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018. While the request was met with suspicion by agency critics, Mulvaney has stressed that the bureau already has sufficient resources in a $177 million reserve. The bureau has projected needing $145 million in the second quarter.

"I am not trying to starve the agency,” Mulvaney said in a television interview Tuesday. The reserve amount, he added, is "more than 25% of our annual operating costs."

"No agency in town has 25% of reserves," he said. "That’s just absurd. … We are going to spend that reserve down. That is just being sound managers of taxpayer money.”

In his Jan. 17 letter to Yellen, Mulvaney said that the bureau would make an additional funding request after the reserves decrease.

"I see no practical reason for such a large reserve, since I am informed that the Board has never denied a Bureau request for funding and has always delivered requested funds in a timely fashion," he wrote. "It is my intent to spend down the reserve until it is of a much smaller size, while still allowing the Bureau to successfully perform its functions, before making an additional financial request of the Board."

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Budgets Policymaking Mick Mulvaney Janet Yellen CFPB Federal Reserve