The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s educational “slush fund” is under the “strictest review” by acting director Mick Mulvaney. The Obama-era agency is accused of using the fund to aid left-leaning special interest groups.
Mulvaney, President Donald J. Trump’s temporarily appointed budget chief, is reviewing all spending by the troubled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a consumer watchdog created to protect Americans from big financial companies.
The CFPB, a group introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), collects fines from financial institutions and redistributes them. The money is meant to benefit victims and to educate the public about the organization. Just who the agency has been giving money to is in question, as taxpayer watchdog groups such as Cause of Action and the Competitive Enterprise Institute have been critical, according to the Washington Examiner.
“All of this is under strictest review. While we get our arms around it, the director is personally approving any payment out of these funds to ensure that they are going to actual victims,” an official said, referencing Mulvaney.
As DML News reported in October, former President Obama’s Department of Justice, under the direction of former attorney general Eric Holder, disposed of cash from settlement cases to groups “of their choosing,” and conservative groups were not on their list of approved options. In some cases settled by the DOJ, companies had to pay their penalties directly to nonprofits, in the form of donations, instead of giving the money directly to the U.S. Treasury.
From the Washington Examiner:
Cause of Action Institute, for example, has drawn attention to a $14 million CFPB contract with GMMB Inc., a powerful media consulting shop that has produced political ads for Obama and 2016 runner-up Hillary Rodham Clinton.
And CEI has dubbed the education kitty a “slush fund” used by the agency for political favors.
The agency has leaned left since its creation and has been a Democratic Party donor bank, with its bureaucrats writing checks to liberals at a rate of 593 to one Republican, including $46,611 to Clinton, $13,190 to Warren, and $19,988 to Obama.
“Given CFPB’s history of stark, unabashed partisanship, as exhibited by Richard Cordray’s final bizarre gambit to try to seize control of the agency and put it in the hands of [deputy] Leandra English, it is great news that Acting Director Mulvaney is rooting out political bias, beginning with a comprehensive review of all spending,” Cause of Action counsel Eric R. Bolinder said, in response to Mulvaney’s intention to review the spending.
Bolinder says he’s hopeful that “Mulvaney’s reforms will result in some modicum of institutional budgetary control so as to prioritize the needs of consumers over liberal causes.”