Trump's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works hard to fail at its job of protecting consumers — and now it's failing our military service members.
Trump's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plans to abandon its most effective means of protecting military service members from being ripped off by payday lenders — part of Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney's mission to gut the agency from the inside.
Mulvaney's plan calls for the CFPB to stop performing "supervisory examinations," which proactively look for patterns of abuse by lenders against members of the military.
Former CFPB officials told The Times that these examinations are the agency's "most powerful tool for proactively uncovering abuses and patterns of illegal practices by companies suspected of wrongdoing."
Mulvaney claims that this proactive oversight is "not explicitly laid out in the legislation," which is why he wants to end it.
Yet Trump administration officials also told the Times that no lenders are actually challenging the agency's enforcement of the law — which suggests that even if the administration's goal is to appease shady lenders, it's bending over even further backwards to achieve that goal than it needs to.
VoteVets, a veterans organization with over half a million members, slammed the move in a statement to Shareblue Media.
“This is Donald Trump giving a huge smile and thumbs up to slimy payday lenders ripping off our troops. There is no depth to which this guy won’t go to help lowlifes make money, at the expense of honorable Americans," said Will Fischer, director of government relations at VoteVets.
Trump illegally installed Mulvaney as acting director of the agency in November, even though then-Deputy Director Leandra English had already been appointed to the post by retiring director Richard Cordray. English filed a lawsuit against Trump and Mulvaney as a result.
In July, however, English announced she was resigning from CFPB and dropping her lawsuit, because Trump is now following the law by seeking Senate confirmation for a permanent director.
Once Mulvaney took over the consumer protection agency, he immediately began dropping the enforcement and weakening the regulations that are supposed to protect consumers.
In January, for instance, Mulvaney forced the CFPB to roll back Obama-era regulations that protected poor consumers from being trapped into loans they could not afford to pay back.
Mulvaney's CFPB also dropped investigations and enforcement actions against payday lenders who disproportionately prey on military veterans and service members.
Now, Mulvaney is taking one last shot at our military before the Senate votes on the nomination of Mulvaney's permanent replacement, Kathy Kraninger.
But the badly weakened CFPB isn't likely to get stronger if Kraninger is confirmed; she is just a less-qualified underling from Mulvaney's Office of Management and Budget.
Trump has been a disaster for American workers and consumers in general. But it is particularly disturbing to see the Trump administration targeting our bravest — even as Trump hypocritically wraps himself in the flag and disrespects our troops at every turn.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.