Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said Friday that he has no plans to "blow up" the agency he leads and defended his request for "zero" funding from the Federal Reserve.

"I've told people from the day I walked in there, I wasn't there to burn the place down or blow it up," Mulvaney, who is also director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in an 18-minute briefing to White House reporters about the looming threat of a government shutdown. "We will focus on the statutory mission and we have plenty of money in the bank to do that."

Mulvaney was asked if he planned to reduce spending at the CFPB. He wrote a letter Wednesday to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen saying he needed no additional funding for the agency because he plans to use up a reserve fund.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Mick Mulvaney said of his role as acting director of the CFPB: "We will focus on the statutory mission and we have plenty of money in the bank to do that." Bloomberg News

"We've asked for no money this quarter over at the CFPB simply because we didn't think it was necessary," Mulvaney said. "The CFPB has $177 million in its reserve fund and we were able to operate next quarter off of that."

Mulvaney also was questioned about the current role of Leandra English, the CFPB's deputy director. English, who was installed in her current position by former Director Richard Cordray, has waged a legal battle to unseat Mulvaney, claiming she is the rightful head of the agency. English is still employed at the bureau.

"I won't speak to litigation about Ms. English," Mulvaney said.

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