Mulvaney Drains the Consumer Bureau’s Emergency Reserve Fund

In January, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “Acting Director” Mick Mulvaney requested zero dollars in funding from the Federal Reserve for the CFPB for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018. He instead opted to drain the CFPB’s emergency reserve fund, signaling a transition to a weaker agency.

Additional Background

“Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve. Last quarter, former director Richard Cordray asked for $217.1 million. Cordray, an appointee of President Barack Obama, needed just $86.6 million the quarter before that. And Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, sent his first request to the Fed. He requested zero…. Cordray had maintained a ‘reserve fund’ in case of overruns or emergencies, but Mulvaney said he didn’t see any reason for it….” [Michael Grunwald, “Mulvaney requests no funding for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Politico, 01/18/18.]

Mulvaney wrote, “[t]his letter is to inform you that for Second Quarter of Fiscal Year, 2018, the Bureau is requesting $0.” [Mick Mulvaney, Letter to Fed Chair Yellen “RE: Funds Transfer Request, FY 2018 Quarter 2,” CFPB Files, 01/17/18.]

The CFPB does not rely on tax dollars but is instead “self-financed” through the Federal Reserve. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding comes not from Congress but from the Federal Reserve.” [Suzy Khimm, “Why the CFPB’s funding is guaranteed,” The Washington Post, 02/15/12]

The Federal Reserve is “self-financed, largely with income on securities such as government bonds[.]” [Karen Weise, “Republican Attacks on a CFPB Office Renovation Don’t Add Up,” Bloomberg, 07/16/14]