The former South Carolina congressman made the remarks when speaking at the American Bankers Association conference, according to the New York Times. Mulvaney also serves as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a consumer watchdog group created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act after the 2008 recession.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mulvaney said, according to the Times. “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.”
The Times reports that the former congressman received $63,000 from payday lenders during his campaigns, a group that he relaxed regulations on early in his tenure as the head of the CFPB.
Mulvaney told the bakers in attendance that they should give more campaign contributions to lawmakers to get more influence.
He also told those in attendance they wanted to weaken the CFPB, a group that he heads after some intense drama.
The budget director’s remarks drew some scorn.
@realDonaldTrump Your boy Mulvaney has announced he will only talk to lobbyists who contribute to his campaign. That doesn't sound legal to me. Sounds much like "pay to play" don't you think. He should resign or be fired. #DrainTheSwamp #DrainTheSwamp #DrainTheSwamp— N.K. Zachary🌊 @deenie61 (@deenie61) April 25, 2018
Mulvaney told bankers yesterday that, as a congressman, he only met with lobbyists who gave him donations.— Alt USDA_ARS (@AltUSDA_ARS) April 25, 2018
So, Mick Mulvaney tells the banks to lobby hard for favorable regulations.— McAtheistFace (@rickwingrove) April 25, 2018
And, oh, btw, he only talks to the highest bidding lobbyists.
That would appear to be a direct appeal for naked bribery.
All pretense of honesty and dignity has been abandoned.
Mulvaney would only meet with lobbyists who gave him campaign cash. Now, he's telling banks they have to up the ante to get what they want. The swamp is overflowing, not drained. #theswamphttps://t.co/ZTliNmUyfT— Alan Arnett (@ajarnett51) April 25, 2018
Mulvaney said he would speak to constituents first, regardless of donations.
“If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talked to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions.”
You can read all of the New York Times report here.