The Washington Post reports: President Trump and the outgoing head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both named acting directors to head the watchdog agency on Friday, throwing its leadership into disarray.
Legal analysts were split over whether the White House or the CFPB had authority to name an acting director, with each side citing the fine print of dueling federal rules. Some added that the laws were open to interpretation and that the courts ultimately would have to decide the matter.
Trump proposed his White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as the acting director of the CFPB, which Mulvaney once called a “joke” and said he wished didn’t exist. Several defenders of the agency said they were worried that Mulvaney, if given the helm of the CFPB on a temporary basis, would gut its powers.
The series of events began Friday when the CFPB’s long-time director, Richard Cordray, announced that he would leave at the end of the day — instead of at the end of the month — and promoted his chief of staff, Leandra English, to become deputy director. Cordray said in a letter to CFPB staff that English would serve as the agency’s acting director until a replacement was confirmed by the Senate.
“I have also come to recognize that appointing the current chief of staff to the deputy director position would minimize operational disruption and provide for a smooth transition given her operational expertise,” Cordray said in his letter. The move was widely seen by analysts as an attempt to block Trump from immediately putting a Republican in charge of the agency without Senate confirmation.
But a few hours later, the White House announced that Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, would take over. [Continue reading…]