The ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday said Mick Mulvaney should resign as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over his “pay to play” remarks to bankers.
“Deciding who you will meet with based on campaign contributions is the kind of ‘pay to play’ that understandably makes Americans furious,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “Mr. Mulvaney should resign, and the White House should quickly nominate a permanent CFPB Director with bipartisan support and a moral compass. Banks and payday lenders already have armies of lobbyists on their sides a they don’t need one more.”
Brown’s calls for Mulvaney’s resignation follow a report that Mulvaney told banking officials on Tuesday that while he was in Congress, he usually only spoke to lobbyists who donated to his campaign.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mulvaney said at an American Bankers Association, according to the New York Times. “If you’re 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.”
Mulvaney also reported said that he regularly talked with constituents who visited his office, too, “regardless of the financial contributions.”
The comments have sparked backlash, but Brown is the first to call for Mulvaney’s resignation, both from the CFPB and his post as the head of the Office of Management and Budget, he told CNN Thursday.
“Not just was he sort of border line bribery in the House, but he’s going in front of 1,300 bankers, his agenda is ‘You bankers, most powerful people in the country, lobby me, lobby congress to weaken this consumer bureau, to strike the word consumer out of the consumer bureau fundamentally,'” Brown told CNN. “That’s what is so troubling, that a leading official in the Trump administration would go to banks and say ‘Stop the consumer agency from representing consumers.’ That’s as bad as it gets.”
Mulvaney is a longtime vocal critic of the power of the CFPB and has been pushing legislative proposals to undermine the agency’s authority since he was appointed as acting director.