Bureau pledges to hew to statute in plan, following proposed funding change in Trump budget

A pledge to commit to fulfill its statutory responsibilities, but to “go no further,” was made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Monday in its five-year strategic plan, released after the White House proposed changing the funding scheme for the agency.

Earlier Monday, the Trump Administration released its proposed 2019 budget, which calls for the agency to be funded through the congressional appropriations process, giving Congress a say in how much money the agency receives annually. Now, the bureau is funded through proceeds of the Federal Reserve.

Additionally, the Trump 2019 budget would cap the bureau’s spending plan at its 2015 levels of $485 million. For 2018, CFPB is expected to spend $630 million.

The administration’s plan – spread out over two years – would also restrict the consumer agency’s enforcement authority.

For the strategic plan issued late Monday afternoon, the Acting Director Mick Mulvaney said one way to summarize the changes at the bureau under his watch is: “we have committed to fulfill the Bureau’s statutory responsibilities, but go no further.”

Mulvaney, in a release, added that by “hewing to the statute, this Strategic Plan provides the Bureau a ready roadmap, a touchstone with a fixed meaning that should serve as a bulwark against the misuse of our unparalleled powers.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank), the law establishing the bureau, a five-year CFPB strategic plan is required to be developed and released. A draft 2018-22 plan was released last October; Monday’s plan is a revised version.

CFPB Strategic Plan FY 2018 – FY 2022