McHenry, Mulvaney face criticism over action to help payday lenders

McHenry, Mulvaney face criticism over action to help payday lenders

WASHINGTON, DC (WBTV) – Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC10) and former Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who now serves in the Trump Administration, are among a group of politicians under fire in a new report from a liberal watchdog group released this week.

The report, released by the group Allied Progress, criticizes a group of congressman who accepted campaign contributions from special interest groups tied to the payday lending industry within a short time of taking action that would benefit the same industry.

The report says both McHenry and Mulvaney signed onto a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created in 2010 with the purpose of regulating financial institutions that Mulvaney now leads, that expressed "concern about the agency's proposal to rein in payday lending and other short-term credit."

Researchers who compiled the report found Mulvaney took in more than $18,000 in contributions from groups tied to the payday lending industry.

McHenry accepted a $2,000 contribution from the Community Financial Services Association of America PAC, a political action committee formed by a number of payday lending companies.

"Reports like this that show, in this case, 16 members of congress from both parties, both the Senate and the House, taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions within days of taking official action on behalf of the industry; we hope that enlightens people and exposes a serious problem here in Washington," Allied Progress Executive Director Karl Frisch told WBTV.

A review of McHenry's campaign finance disclosure forms posted on the Federal Elections Commission website showed his campaign accepted an additional $10,000 from the same industry PAC that made the $2,000 contribution in 2016.

According to the records, the group gave McHenry's campaign a $5,000 contribution in July of 2013 and a second $5,000 in February 2018.

In a statement, a spokesman for McHenry denied any wrongdoing, and said the following:

"This political smear campaign is laughable but sadly unsurprising—given who funds and staffs these left-wing interest groups. Installment lending is a necessary resource for many low and middle income Americans who need access to credit to make ends meet. Congressman McHenry has a consistent record on this issue and any accusation that his views would be swayed by a campaign contribution are outrageous."

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