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The interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a reorganization Wednesday that will eliminate the separate arm that focused on the interests of students and other young Americans. The Office of Students and Young Consumers had actively and aggressively policed the student loan industry and monitored credit card companies and other financial institutions that serve -- or target -- college students and other young people.

The decision by Mick Mulvaney, a longtime critic of the consumer bureau whom President Trump appointed to lead it in December, fit a pattern in which Mulvaney -- at the urging of corporate groups and lobbyists -- has sought to curtail the agency's reach.

Consumer groups and congressional Democrats blasted the move.

Colleen Campbell, associate director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, said, "Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s decision to close the Office of Students and Young Consumers is a direct attack on every American who enrolls in higher education. Since 2012, this office has worked tirelessly to bring to light systemic issues with our student loan system, recovering billions of dollars on behalf of student loan borrowers and driving bipartisan reform efforts to further protect them. Closing this office effectively shuts out the only independent watchdog for our nation’s federal student loan borrowers and will only hurt students and their families."