Mick Mulvaney turning Elizabeth Warren's dream into a nightmare
Mick Mulvaney has rapidly become one of my favorite federal executives. In addition to Mulvaney heading the Office of Management and Budget, President Trump appointed him to the job of running the former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), when Elizabeth Warren's handpicked head of the agency resigned to run for office.
Warren had designed the bureau to be immune from congressional oversight by funding it with Federal Reserve money so as to not be dependent on appropriations. Warren also planned to keep the bureau in the hands of dedicated leftists by having the bureaucrats name a successor instead of the president. But President Trump appointed Mulvaney instead and won the fight, as Mulvaney continues as "interim" director and is implementing vast changes. Suddenly, all the independence designed by Warren has turned into a nightmare.
When Mick Mulvaney served in the House, he tried to warn colleagues that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was too independent of Congress. Now that he's running the CFPB, Mulvaney wants to demonstrate just how correct he was. For the second straight day, the acting director has told a congressional panel that he can just sit in front of them all day and ignore their questions, and there's nothing they can do about it[.]
It was such a nice touch that Mulvaney directed his refusal to answer questions to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the godmother of this hideous operation, leaving her licking her wounds and yelling of her care about consumers, which was never the point of the CFPB, as it has always been just a leftist slush fund.
Now comes news that Mulvaney is proceeding with his demolition of Warren's dream by renaming her baby. Joseph Lawler reports in the Examiner:
From the time its doors opened in 2011, the agency was known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Usually, people just called it "the CFPB."
Yet those terms, which adorn the agency's headquarters, make up its website URL, and are used in its Twitter handle, aren't technically in the law that created the bureau, the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law. And so Mulvaney changed them.
Late last month, the agency published a blog post announcing that it had devised a new seal for the agency. The seal is a neoclassical emblem similar to other federal agencies', featuring an eagle and the name of the agency: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
Here is the new seal:
I was always against the CFPB name because those already were the initials of The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a mechanism for funneling taxpayer dollars into PBS and NPR programming, which in practice has been yet another example of government funding for left-wingers.
As with his flouting of Senator Warren's attempts to question him, Mulvaney is getting in the faces of the lefties by using the law Warren designed against them:
That, Mulvaney explained during congressional testimony on Wednesday, "is the formal name of the CFPB — the CFPB technically doesn't exist."
A representative for the agency added Friday that the name change "furthers the acting director's stated goal of hewing closely to the statute."
That logic appeals to one of the bureau's top congressional critics, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.
"Agencies should follow the law," the Texas Republican said through a spokesman when asked about the new name. "I commend Acting Director Mulvaney's efforts to follow the law as written."
A name change (or re-branding, as marketing people call it) usually is used as a symbol of change, so it is perfectly appropriate, given Mulvaney's agenda. It also changes the critical first word of the title from "consumer" to "bureau," emphasizing that this is indeed another government bureaucracy with power over us.
Well played, sir. The left can no longer presume that it is the master of image management. Nor of unaccountable bureaucracies.