CFPB battle swells as Trump, Mulvaney square off with agency head

28 November, 2017, 01:34 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • U.S. Consumer Watchdog Official Is Suing to Block Trump's Pick From Leading the AgencyMore

Mr Mulvaney, who was confirmed as the White House budget director in February, has described the agency as an unaccountable bureaucracy gone rogue, calling it "one of the most offensive concepts" in the U.S. government. The battle started last Friday when CFPB's director, Richard Cordray, resigned.

Trump will ultimately decide who heads the CFPB on a permanent basis, but that choice must be approved by the US Senate - a process likely to take months.

While the Vacancies Act does allow a president to appoint acting directors at agencies like the CFPB, the Dodd-Frank Act has specific language that seems to indicate that only a deputy director can step into the acting director position.

The White House communications director sought to enhance Mr Mulvaney's standing on Twitter, sending out a photo of him meeting staff while sporting rainbow-coloured socks and another of near empty boxes of doughnuts, which he said were a "big hit".

Under the explicit text of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act, which created the CFPB, Deputy Director Leandra English became CFPB's "acting Director" at midnight on November 24, when Director Richard Cordray resigned his post and thereby became "unavailable" within the meaning of the law's specific provision for that contingency that the Deputy Director will "serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director".

Mulvaney also signed off as "acting director" and invited staff to pop by his office on the fourth floor to "grab a donut".

Sanders also cited a memo sent by Mary E. McLeod, the consumer bureau's general counsel, who said she had found an opinion by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel written Saturday in support of Mulvaney's appointment under the Vacancies Reform Act "on point and persuasive".

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Protestors outside the CFPB on Monday morning oppose Trump's appointment of Mick Mulvaney to temporarily lead the agency. A Mulvaney aide later tweeted a picture of the president's pick inside the director's office.

President Donald Trump's appointment of his budget director as interim director of a consumer financial protection agency championed by Democrats is being challenged in federal court.

It'll be an interesting Monday at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Now that the CFPB's own General Counsel - who was hired under Richard Cordray - has notified the Bureau's leadership that she agrees with the Administration's and DOJ's reading of the law, there should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director". Elizabeth Warren of MA, met with English.

"Bank regulation is a very sensitive business", Frank said in an interview Monday.

Meanwhile, Mulvaney quickly responded to English's email, instructing CFPB staff to "disregard" any directives from her. Mulvaney sent a memo to employees, asking them to "please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms". He was one of the last Obama-era political holdouts.

The tug-of-war began late on Friday, when Cordray appointed English to be the CFPB's deputy director and then stepped down from his post. "As deputy director, we will continue to benefit from Leandra's in-depth knowledge of the operational needs of this agency and its staff". McLeod recognizes, as she must, that the House-passed version of the law creating the CFPB would have made the FVRA available to the president in circumstances like this - but - that Congress deliberately replaced that version with one not giving the president a power to circumvent Dodd-Frank.



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