Trump's consumer watchdog proposes to trim agency's power

FILE PHOTO: Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked Congress on Monday to trim the agency's power to write rules and spend money. Mick Mulvaney, the head of the CFPB, said the agency has the kind of power that should only rest with Congress. "The Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its activities," Mulvaney told Congress in a routine report. "The power wielded by the director of the Bureau could all too easily be used to harm consumers, destroy businesses, or arbitrarily remake American financial markets." President Donald Trump tapped Mulvaney to lead the CFPB in late November. While Mulvaney is supposed to lead the agency on an interim basis, there is no deadline for when he must step aside for a permanent director. Mulvaney recommended four ways to curtail the CFPB's power. The CFPB should get its funding through Congress rather than the Federal Reserve, according to the proposal. Congress should have veto power over CFPB rules and the agency should more directly answer to the president. The CFPB was created in 2010 as an independent agency meant to protect consumers from predatory lending and financial abuse. Mulvaney is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday April 11. (Reporting By Patrick Rucker; editing by Diane Craft)