Battle for control of consumer agency heads to court

The New York Times reports: The battle over who will lead the federal government’s top consumer financial watchdog agency is now headed to court.

The extraordinary fight, which intensified on Sunday night, adds to the uncertainty over the fate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a regulator created in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of nearly a decade ago. It encapsulates dueling visions of how the American financial system could be regulated, as President Trump moves to loosen regulation created under the Obama administration to rein in the financial industry.

Leandra English, the deputy director of the bureau who was set to become its temporary chief, filed a lawsuit late Sunday night to block Mr. Trump’s choice of someone else from taking control of the agency on Monday morning.

Mr. Trump has been seeking to install his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as the agency’s acting director. The bureau had been a “total disaster” and needed new leadership to “bring it back to life,” Mr. Trump has said on Twitter. Mr. Mulvaney has been openly hostile to the consumer bureau, calling it a “sad, sick” joke and supporting legislation to eliminate it.

At stake is the immediate future of the consumer bureau — one of the last holdouts, within the federal government, against Mr. Trump’s efforts to strip away business regulations. While Mr. Trump can appoint his own director, confirmation could take months and slow down Republican efforts to defang the agency. [Continue reading…]

Reuters reports: 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.

The office of CFPB General Counsel Mary McLeod has prepared a memo concurring with the opinion of the U.S. Justice Department that Trump has the power to appoint his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, as temporary leader of the federal watchdog agency, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

One source said the memo would be sent to CFPB staff on Monday. [Continue reading…]

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Comments

  1. Dieter Heymann says:

    Even before the CFPB bill was signed into law there were restrictions on the Presidential appointment power in banking, specifically for the Board of the Federal Reserve Banks.

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