The Senate Banking Committee, more often a zone of mind-numbing debates on arcane financial regulations, featured a heavyweight bout Thursday over President Trump’s regulation-slashing agenda.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Massachusetts firebrand and one of the chief architects of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, squared off against Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director who also serves as acting director of Warren’s beloved agency. Mulvaney thinks the CFPB has too much power and is actively working to weaken the organization from within.
“You’re hurting real people to score cheap political points,” Warren told Mulvaney in a scorching speech at Thursday’s committee hearing.
“I’m not seeking to undermine the mission of the bureau,” Mulvaney fired back at one point.
The testy debate came after months of pointed letters between Mulvaney and Warren, who disagree on nearly everything regarding the agency.
Originally proposed in 2007 by then-Harvard Law professor Warren, the CFPB came to fruition in 2010 as part of the postfinancial crisis Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Now, nearly a decade after that financial collapse, the battle over the agency’s fate illuminates the ideological divides in Congress between those who want to protect consumers, and those, like Trump, who are intent in reducing regulations for American businesses.