Mulvaney's Advice to Bankers: Up Campaign Donations to Diminish Consumer Watchdog

Mulvaney's Advice to Bankers: Up Campaign Donations to Diminish Consumer Watchdog

Norm Eisen, a former top ethics official under President Barack Obama, said the FBI should investigate whether Mulvaney's actions in Congress were directly influenced by campaign contributions. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is vocal in her opposition to the pro-business, deregulatory approach of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

The consumer bureau was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Law as a way to prevent banks and other financial companies from preying on vulnerable consumers.

"We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress", [said] Mr. Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker from SC.

"If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn't talk to you. If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you".

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Of course, most people would actually say this is the exact opposite of democracy, with elected politicians not voting on issues based on the people who put them in power want but rather by whichever lobbyists gave them the most money. That Mulvaney would engage in this behavior is not particularly surprising, but the fact that he so openly admits to it, in front of an industry group he is supposed to regulate, shows a striking level of disregard for even the appearance of basic propriety.

Referring back to Mulvaney's remarks to lenders that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their agenda, Brown said that banks and lenders didn't need any more lobbyists.

Many argue that regardless of whether Mulvaney engaged in any illegal conduct, his Tuesday admission is a fireable offense, and excusing it perpetuates a culture of impunity in Washington.