Mulvaney Jabs Warren for Lack of 'Civil Discourse' in Payday Loan Debate

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), sent a letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) defending himself against accusations that the bureau's actions on payday lending curbs under his watch have to do with campaign donations received from the industry. "I reject your insinuation — repeated three times in as many pages — that my actions as acting Director are based on considerations other than a careful examination of the law and facts particular to any matter," Mulvaney wrote, referring to an earlier letter from Warren to the agency's interim chief.

Responding to a Jan. 31 letter in which six Democrats led by Warren and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) asked him to explain the bureau's light treatment of the industry since he took the helm, Mulvaney said "civil discourse rests upon our reciprocal understanding that no matter how strongly we may disagree on matters of policy, we are motivated by principle and our mutual desire to serve the American people to the best of our abilities." He suggested that Warren's support for the CFPB's arbitration rule, which Congress repealed, could easily be described as influenced by a similar motivation.

"Prior to receiving your letter, I never would have thought to consider, for instance, whether your vote against repealing the Bureau's arbitration rule was influenced by campaign donations you may have received from trial lawyers or other parties who stood to gain financially from the rule," Mulvaney wrote.