by Jeff Sovern
During the House Financial Services Committee hearing in which the Committee heard from CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, there was some discussion about how the number of CFPB staffers had barely gone down under Mr. Mulvaney's leadership--it was said that the number of CFPB employees had declined by something like ten--and that it is difficult to shrink the staff. Bloomberg is reporting that Mulvaney is considering several plans to cut costs, including moving some jobs to the basement or Dallas, Texas, and forcing staffers to share desks. It may be that Mulvaney's intent is simply to save taxpayers money (though not all members of the Trump administration seem to share that goal). But given that Mulvaney has been open in his opposition to the agency, it is natural to wonder if he is trying to achieve indirectly something he cannot easily accomplish directly. Presumably, employees whose jobs are moved to Texas and are not able to move themselves (e.g., because of a spouse who works in the Washington area and whose job is not portable) would leave the Bureau. Employees forced to share desks or work in a basement might prefer to pursue other opportunities as well. On the other hand, another possibility mentioned in the Bloomberg article is to permit employees to work from home, which might make Bureau jobs even more attractive. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of these options Mulvaney chooses.