Economy

Judge clears way for Trump's pick to head CFPB

Judge clears way for Trump's pick to head CFPB

A U.S. District Court judge in Washington has ruled in favor of the Trump administration in its bid to install White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

English had requested an emergency restraining order to stop Mulvaney from becoming acting director, claiming the position was rightfully hers.

Republicans have sought to rein in the agency for years as part of efforts to roll back banking industry regulations, saying it is unaccountable to elected officials and harms economic growth by unfairly burdening companies.

Mulvaney sent his own e-mail telling staffers to "disregard" any directions from English. The deputy director, according to the Dodd-Frank law, becomes the acting director in the absence or unavailability of a director.

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Mulvaney's appointment puts the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into uncharted waters as it experiences its first change in party control in its seven-year history. English said in a statement tweeted by her lawyer Tuesday that she planned on spending the day at bureau headquarters "taking calls and meeting with external stakeholders and bureau staff".

Fueling some of the resistance to Trump's pick to temporarily lead the agency is Mulvaney's previous criticism of the watchdog.

Arguing for the government, Brett Shumate, deputy assistant attorney general for federal programs, said that the Federal Vacancies Act, enacted in 1988, gave the president the authority to appoint Mulvaney, citing a Friday memorandum by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and a memo distributed Monday by the bureau's current general counsel.

The CFPB, created in the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, has been criticized as being unconstitutional and lacking proper oversight.

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Following a hearing Tuesday evening at the US District Court in Washington, DC, Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that he will not issue an emergency order blocking Trump from installing Mulvaney in the post.

Despite being made into a federal court case, the issue may soon be moot. Appearing Monday night on The Rachel Maddow Show, Cordray said the "the law is clear here" that English is next in line for acting director. But there's no doubt about where the dispute is headed.

"Anybody who thinks that a Trump administration CFPB will be the same as an Obama administration CFPB is simply being naive", Mulvaney said Monday.

"We don't want a lapdog for predatory lenders". Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon.

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The ruling doesn't resolve who is in fact in charge of the bureau right now. In its most high-profile case, it fined Wells Fargo $100 milllion in 2016 for secretly opening thousands of unauthorized customer bank accounts.


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