AFR Statement: AFR Criticizes Mulvaney Move to Manipulate Research, Curb Student Advocacy


May 9, 2018

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AFR Criticizes Mulvaney Move to Manipulate Research, Curb Student Advocacy

Americans for Financial Reform issued the following statements in response to reports that Mick Mulvaney, the White House official installed at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is creating a team reporting to him that will vet previously non-political research, and is dismantling the Office of Students and Young Consumers.

“Why is Mick Mulvaney creating a new office on ‘costs and benefits’ directly under his control, when the CFPB already has a robust research department?” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.  “What he is really interested in is not serious research, but information that advances the interests of the Wall Street banks and predatory lenders he serves.”

“Look at what happened at OMB, where he was part of suppressing data for political purposes,” Donner said. “He hid information that cast a negative light on overtime rule changes that took a bite out of worker paychecks. ”

Background: As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mulvaney sought to suppress data that showed companies could steal hundreds of millions in gratuities from their workers under a Department of Labor regulation.

The Bureau’s Office for Students and Young Consumers has spurred actions that returned $750 million to student borrowers, and helped demand answers on over 50,000 complaints about student loans, making it a crucial contributor to fulfilling the Bureaus consumer protection mission.

“America is facing an ongoing student debt crisis, with outstanding student debt surpassing $1.5 trillion and over 8 million borrowers in default on their student loans. Closing the Office for Students is like shuttering the fire department in the middle of a three-alarm fire,” said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at AFR.