Mulvaney Arrives at CFPB Under Cloud of Uncertainty

Tuesday, 28 Nov, 2017

The top lawyer for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has concluded that President Donald Trump has the authority to name its acting director, three sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday, rejecting an effort by her former boss at the agency to name his immediate successor.

At least he resisted the urge to write "Your favorite Acting CFPB Director (me)".

English later filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent Mulvaney's appointment.

The clashing appointments raise the question: What happens when the two new heads show up and try to sit at the same desk and give orders?

Under Mulvaney, or someone like him confirmed on a permanent basis, Warren said, "The agency will be headed by someone who fundamentally doesn't believe in its mission". Mulvaney himself has been a vocal critic of the agency, calling it a "sick, sad" joke.

"This agency will stay open".

"Rumors that I'm going to set the place on fire or blow it up or lock the doors are completely false", he said during a news conference at CFPB on Monday. "I am a member of the executive branch of government".

Pelosi says in a statement that the White House wants "to put the ringleader of its risky, anti-consumer protection policies in charge" of the agency. (Mulvaney brought donuts to the office for co-workers). Meanwhile, English sent a department-wide email saying she hoped everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

In Mr Mulvaney's message to staff, he wrote: "It has come to my attention that Ms English has reached out to many of you this morning via email in an attempt to exercise certain duties of the Acting Director". He was one of the last Obama-era political holdouts.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Journal in a statement: "The administration is aware of the suit filed this evening by deputy director English". While the Dodd-Frank rule stands, assistant attorney general Steven Engel argued in an eight-page opinion on Sunday, it "does not displace the president's authority under the Vacancies Reform Act", instead giving Trump authority to "override an agency's designated succession path" as he sees fit. English was elevated to the deputy director position shortly before Cordray resigned. She also quotes from a 9th Circuit decision which says that "neither the FVRA nor the NLRA is the exclusive means of appointing an Acting General Counsel of the NLRB" - an observation that is irrelevant because the National Labor Relations Board is structured in an altogether different way from the CFPB - before getting to her real point: that she needn't "resolve the meaning" of the statutory language because a provision in an earlier version of the bill that was never signed into law somehow supports the administration's view. But it may take several weeks for someone to be nominated and even months until the Senate were to confirm his or her appointment.

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created to make sure that the financial products and services that Americans depend on every day -including credit cards, mortgages, and loans-work better for the people who use them". In one high-profile case, Wells Fargo was fined $185 million in 2016 after CFPB and federal regulators found that some of the bank's employees had opened more than 1 million accounts and applied for almost 600,000 credit cards without authorization from clients.