Transition Tracker | Senate Democrats Oppose CFPB Commission, Mnuchin’s Nomination

WHAT HAPPENED

Senate Democrats are digging in for a fight supporting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray and appointing Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Banking Committee Ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stated that they would fight any attempt to replace Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray or change the Bureau’s structure to a commission, during a press call yesterday. The senators join House Financial Services Committee Democrats, who sent a letter to President-elect Trump last week warning him against replacing Director Cordray and noting the legal battle that could ensue. In conjunction with the call, Senate Banking Democrats also sent a letter to Director Cordray praising him for “tough enforcement against financial fraud.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was named ranking democrat of the Senate Banking Committee’s Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee yesterday. Today, Sen. Warren plans to host a forum featuring the “foreclosure victims” of Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin’s former bank OneWest. Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) plans to speak and other senators are expected to attend.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing on Thursday. Twenty-five Democrats, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), have sent a request to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch asking him to allow families whose homes were foreclosed upon by OneWest to testify at the hearing.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR AFSA MEMBERS

Senate Democrats’ statements come as there are stronger signals that President-elect Trump is looking closer at replacing CFPB Director Richard Cordray. We expect Democrats, particularly Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to continue opposing the removal of Cordray as director as well as the confirmation of Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin.

WHAT AFSA IS DOING

AFSA has been in communication with the Senate Finance Committee, and has asked them to inquire into the Trump Administration’s priority to increase lending during Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing.