Fifty-three Democratic members of Congress called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to explain the decision by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to reorganize the agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (OFLEO), claiming that this action strips the office of its enforcement and supervisory authority.
The lawmakers sent a letter
jointly addressed to Mulvaney under his title at director of the Office of Management and Budget and to Leandra English under the title of CFPB acting director—the latter, of course, is a political statement designed to refuse acknowledgment of Mulvaney's CFPB leadership, as two federal court rulings have rejected English’s claim to that title. In their letter, the Democrats acknowledged that the “details of the reorganization have not been fully disclosed” and that the reorganization of that office did not include the termination of enforcement efforts, they nonetheless insisted that reorganizing the structure of the OFLEO “represents a significant departure from the status quo” and “will undoubtedly hinder” efforts to protect consumers against discriminatory practices.
The Democrats sent a list of questions with a March 1, deadline, with inquiries ranging from whether a legal analysis was performed prior to the decision to realign OFLEO to whether “lobbyists or representatives of the banking or financial services industry” were consulted prior to announcement of the reorganization.