Mick Mulvaney tells the truth… grease the palm….

Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), on Tuesday told bankers that direct engagement with their representatives would bolster their efforts to curtail the bureau’s power and loosen financial regulations.

Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told a Washington conference of more than 1,000 bankers that their input on the extensive powers of the CFPB could help rein in the agency long loathed by the financial sector.

“What you do here matters,” said Mulvaney, a former GOP congressman, at an American Bankers Association (ABA) conference on Tuesday. “People coming from back home to tell people in Congress what issues are important to them is one of the fundamental underpinnings of representative democracy, and you have to continue to do it.”

Ok, here’s the controversial part: Mulvaney said he “had a hierarchy in my office in Congress” in which he valued the opinions of his South Carolina constituents over lobbyists who donated to his campaigns.

“If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you were a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you. If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I would talk to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions,” Mulvaney said.

Sylvan Lane has more on his stunning comments here. Critics pounced on the remarks, saying that Mulvaney was suggesting he gave more favorable treatment to lobbyists who had donated to him. And even some Republicans called on him to clarify his comments.

Reactions

  • “Mr. Mulvaney should resign, and The White House should quickly nominate a permanent CFPB Director with bipartisan support and a moral compass.” — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.
  • “If you have someone who comes in the door and it’s based on how much money they’ve given, that’s a problem.” — Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
  • “I don’t believe in that. It’s a mistake.” — Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).
  • “It’s a total admission of the role of money in decision-making around here, and he should be ashamed of himself.” — Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

 

Mulvaney’s response

“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. It’s more important than lobbyists and it’s more important than money.” — Mulvaney spokesman John Czwartacki.

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