Corporate Connections: Koch Industries, World Acceptance, Paulson & Co.
John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In late 2017, he also was named acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a move that is being challenged in court.
Mulvaney represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 until 2017. He was confirmed as a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet in February 2017. A former member and current ally of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, Mulvaney has boasted: “I don’t think anyone in this administration is more of a right-wing conservative than I am.”
Koch Industries was the fourth-largest contributor to Mulvaney’s campaigns, with a total of $35,000 in donations. While in Congress, Mulvaney introduced two bills to remove tariffs on chemicals, legislation that would benefit one of Koch Industries’ subsidiaries. As OMB director, Mulvaney met with two Koch lobbyists. Mulvaney has been open about the connection between campaign donations and access to elected officials. Speaking to a conference of bankers Mulvaney said, “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
Mulvaney introduced legislation to release government-controlled mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from government control. This move likely would cause their stock prices to soar, bringing a windfall for investors speculating on their stock, including hedge fund billionaire John Paulson. A Trump donor with whom Trump personally has invested money, Paulson has been aggressively advocating for returning Fannie and Freddie to the private sector. Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co. has made bets that would pay off if the companies were privatized.
As a candidate and member of Congress, Mulvaney received nearly $63,000 from payday lenders. As acting director of the CFPB, Mulvaney has consistently worked for corporate interests. Mulvaney has said the agency may reconsider a rule that puts restrictions on payday loans. He has ended multiple investigations into high-cost lenders, including one involving World Acceptance Corp., a lender from which Mulvaney had received campaign donations.
More from Public Citizen:
- Exposing Trump’s Anti-Consumer Arsonist
- Mick Mulvaney’s Malarkey and Trump’s CFPB Funny Business
- The Mulvaney Doctrine: Sacrifice Only the Most Vulnerable on the Altar of Deficit Reduction
- D.C. Budget Battle: Mulvaney vs Mulvaney
- Mulvaney’s Pattern of Anti-Government Extremism and Hostility to Governance