Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director and controversial interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, encouraged a large gathering of banking industry executives on Tuesday to use campaign donations to influence lawmakers and added that, as a congressman, he would only meet with lobbyists who donated to him.
A former S.C. congressman who now serves in the Trump administration says he only talked to lobbyists who gave his campaign money during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mr. Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman from SC, stated, "We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress". On Tuesday, he admitted that, as a Congressman, he only met with lobbyists who gave him money - almost 90% of which come from banks and other businesses. "If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you".
He has also specifically moved to ease regulations on payday lenders.
The association, which invited Mr. Mulvaney to give the keynote address at its conference, strongly backs his efforts to consider the financial burdens on banks imposed by the bureau's actions.More news: Lauren Cohan Will Be Back For Season 9 Of The Walking Dead
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Mulvaney spokesman John Czwartacki told the New York Times that "He was making the point that hearing from people back home is vital to our democratic process and the most important thing our representatives can do. If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you".
In his remarks, Mr. Mulvaney also announced a series of moves meant to reduce the bureau's power. Payday lenders are one of the key industries the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sought to regulate.
In Washington, even a name change is fraught with political drama.
There was some surprise, last week, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo for mortgage- and loan-related abuses.
Brown, the top Senate Democrat overseeing the CFPB and a fierce critic of Mulvaney, said his comments reflect "the kind of "pay to play" that understandably makes Americans furious with Washington, DC".