If Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is allowed to serve as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he will be a sea change from former head Richard Cordray.
Mulvaney, a former congressman from South Carolina, was appointed by the Trump administration as interim director on Nov. 24. His appointment was challenged in court late Sunday, in part because he's been a fierce critic of the bureau in the past when he served in Congress and on the Financial Services Committee.
The CFPB is “a sad, sick joke,” he said at one point, a comment that was specifically cited in CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English's lawsuit against Mulvaney's appointment.
Mulvaney has also called the CFPB “one of the most offensive concepts I think, in a representative government,” and claimed, “We have created … the very worst kind of government entity.”
The former lawmaker was particularly critical of the CFPB's small-dollar loan rule, which was finalized last month and will effectively upend the lucrative payday lending business if it is implemented. Mulvaney has also staked out a number of other positions about the CFPB's structure and activities.
As a result, it appears likely that Mulvaney, if he legally takes the job, could begin to radically reshape the agency as the administration searches for a permanent successor. He also would hold a position on the Financial Stability Oversight Council and a board seat at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., potentially having an impact on the agenda of those two organizations.
Moreover, Mulvaney also has taken stances on another key financial issue, reforming the government-sponsored enterprises. It's not clear how much of a role a CFPB director could have in that debate, but some of the agency's rules, namely its "Qualified Mortgage" regulation, would be affected by changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Following are five areas where Mulvaney has detailed his views: