Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney has requested "zero" funding from the Federal Reserve in the second quarter and instead will use reserves to fund the agency.
Mulvaney sent a letter Wednesday to Fed Chair Janet Yellen stating that the CFPB already has $177 million in reserve, enough to cover its $145 million second-quarter budget, and therefore it does not need any funding.
"This letter is to inform you that for second quarter of fiscal year 2018, the bureau is requesting $0," Mulvaney wrote to Yellen.
Mulvaney said that since the bureau had a $177.1 million reserve balance at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he determined that "no additional funds are necessary to carry out the authorities of the bureau for fiscal 2018, Q2."
Those funds were set aside by former CFPB Director Richard Cordray in case of emergencies, but Mulvaney suggested he didn't see the point. There is no statutory authority that mandates the CFPB to maintain a reserve.
"I see no practical reason for such a large reserve, since I am informed the board has never denied a bureau request for funding," Mulvaney wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Politico. "Simply put, I have been assured that the funds currently in the bureau fund, are sufficient for the bureau to carry out its statutory mandates for the next fiscal quarter while striving to be efficient, effective and accountable."
As of last year, the CFPB's estimated budget for fiscal year 2018 was $630.4 million. Mulvaney cast the move as a way to help the government's budget, which he oversees in his other capacity as head of the Office of Management and Budget.
"While this approximately $145 million may not make much of a dent in the deficit, the men and women at the bureau are proud to do their part to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars," Mulvaney wrote.
Mulvaney's move is the third significant decision in as many days. He announced Tuesday he would reopen the payday lending rule and on Wednesday said he would open up all activities of the bureau to public comment.