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White House Sued Over Vacancy at CFPB

On Friday, November 24, Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) announced his resignation, with plans to come back to Ohio and run for governor. Cordray’s vacancy has brought on much controversy over who is currently in charge of the CFPB, the federal agency responsible for regulating Wall Street corporations and protecting the interests of the American consumer. The CFPB was established as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in 2011 in response to home mortgage and financial crisis of 2008.

Just before Cordray resigned, he appointed his chief of staff Leandra English as the deputy director, which means that English would be in charge if Cordray were to resign. So when Cordray resigned on Friday, it would be presumed that English would be in charge of the CFPB until a successor is appointed and confirmed by the Senate. But that is not the case, as following Cordray’s resignation, President Trump appointed current director of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Mick Mulvaney to be interim director until a permanent director is confirmed.

Critics of Mulvaney’s temporary appointment point to the fact that when Mulvaney was in Congress, he voted several times to slash the CFPB, and was outspoken critic of the agency as well as Dodd-Frank. Because of this, critics argue that the White House is doing this in hopes of dismantling the agency, trying to deregulate, defund, and delegitimize the agency. The White House responded to the controversy by saying that this is a “routine move.” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “I am saying we want director Mulvaney to lead this agency, and that is a decision that the President is allowed to make and one that he has made and has legal authority to do so.”

English filed a lawsuit in the United State District Court for the District of Columbia claiming that she should be in charge of the CFPB in accordance with Dodd-Frank. Just yesterday, November 28, a federal judge in the D.C. district ruled in favor of the White House, saying that Mulvaney gets to be in charge until a permanent successor is confirmed by the Senate. It is unclear whether English will appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals or not.

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