Once again, Mick Mulvaney dropped a bomb on the agency he oversees, and once again it drew strong reactions.

Critics of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have supported the acting director's efforts to restructure the agency, but Mulvaney's latest salvo—proposing in the agency's semiannual report that all CFPB rules be subject to congressional approval, among other recommendations—left many observers stumped if not outraged.

Some attorneys questioned Mulvaney's call for congressional reviews in light of the fact that Congress already has veto power over bank regulations through the Congressional Review Act. Lawmakers used that law—which only requires a simple majority to block regulations—last year to rescind the CFPB's arbitration rule, and another pending resolution before Congress would eliminate the agency's payday lending rule.

Some suggested that Mulvaney's proposal could require a filibuster-proof majority to roll back rules, which is a higher hurdle.

"I wonder if he considered that a requirement for getting legislative approval for all rules would mean that he would not be able to change the payday lending rule without gaining 60 votes in the Senate to do so—a rather Herculean task," said Alan Kaplinsky, the co-practice leader at Ballard Spahr's consumer financial services group.

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