Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has long been a critic of how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is run under Republican-appointed leadership. Now, she is looking for help from inside the controversial agency.
Waters has written an open letter to CFPB employees urging them for information and help in keeping the agency on track with its original mission of protecting the consumers of financial products.
“Let me assure you that actions to weaken the Consumer Bureau from within as [previous Director Mick] Mulvaney attempted to do will not go unchecked or unnoticed,” Waters wrote. “I will fight against any and all efforts to weaken the Bureau and make sure that your important work to protect consumers, as Congress intended, can continue. I will also be conducting careful oversight of the agencies under the Committee’s jurisdiction, including the Bureau. If, in the course of your work, you are a witness to waste, fraud, abuse or gross mismanagement, please do not hesitate to alert me and my staff.”
In the letter, Waters also commended those employees and encouraged them.
“Reports regarding a significant drop over the past year in the state of morale at the CFPB are troubling to me as a policymaker because the Bureau should be a place where you are not only proud of your work, but you are also confident of the value you provide in protecting the consumers of our country from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices of bad actors,” she wrote. “I am writing to reassure you of the importance and value of your work, and to let you know, in no uncertain terms, that the anti-consumer actions mandated by Trump appointees will not be tolerated.”
“Your work is a vital public service,” she added. “Take heart in the knowledge that millions of Americans have benefitted from your efforts, and that the Consumer Bureau has many friends and allies in Congress who believe in your efforts and will stand up for you and the Consumer Bureau.”
Whistleblowers, Waters said, may alert the Financial Services Committee to unlawful activity, mismanagement, waste of funds, or abuse of authority in federal agencies or other organizations via a whistleblower form found on the Financial Services Committee website.