While Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has received heavy criticism for the changes he has made at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at least one change was started under his predecessor – the agency’s new seal.
Mulvaney has been blasted by many pro-CFPB voices, from founder Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other Democrats to consumer advocates frustrated by what they see as attempts to hamstring the agency. Mulvaney has made many changes to the bureau from former director Richard Cordray’s – rewriting its mission statement, scaling back its aggressive pursuit of enforcement actions and most recently, firing the entire 25-person body of its legally mandated consumer advisory board in order to restaff it with fresh “diverse voices”.
Launching the new seal, however, started as the brainchild of Cordray, the Barack Obama-appointed CFPB director who drew praise from Warren and criticism from Republicans – including Mulvaney himself, who called the bureau a “sick, sad” joke during his tenure as a South Carolina representative.
The seal picked by Cordray is essentially similar to the one ultimately chosen by Mulvaney – although that version does appear with the agency’s new name – according to a report from Bloomberg. After Mulvaney was named acting director, bureau staff added a fourth candidate to Cordray’s three finalists, this one under the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection name.
As Mulvaney has been fond of pointing out, only the name “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection” appears in Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act. “The organization is the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,” Mulvaney said at an April 11 appearance before the House Committee on Financial Services. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not exist…The CFPB technically does not exist.”
The new seal was announced quietly in a March blog post, and the CFPB began using the new name and seal in press releases. The old logo and name remain widespread, including on the website, in email addresses and as part of the agency’s twitter handle. Lawsuits have been filed using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau name, a practice Mulvaney vowed to change.