Who's the boss come Monday at consumer agency?




  • In Business/Economy
  • 2017-11-25 19:07:19Z
  • By Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer
 

Who's the boss? That's the awkward question after the departing head of a government agency charged with looking after consumer rights appointed a deputy to temporarily fill his spot. The White House then named its own interim leader.

One job, two people - and two very different views on how to do it.

The first pick is expected to continue the aggressive policing of banks and other lenders that have angered Republicans. The second, President Donald Trump's choice, has called the agency a "joke," an example of bureaucracy run amok, and is expected to dismantle much of what the agency has done.

So come Monday, who will be leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Senior Trump administration officials said Saturday that the law was on their side and they expect no trouble when Trump's pick for temporary director of the CFPB shows up for work. Departing director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee long criticized by Congressional Republicans as overzealous, had cited a different rule in saying the law was on his side.

In tendering his resignation Friday, Cordray elevated Leandra English, who was the agency's chief of staff, into the deputy director position. Citing the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB, he said English, an ally of his, would become acting director upon his departure.

Corday's move was widely seen an attempt to stop Trump from shaping the agency in the months ahead.

The White House cites the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. Administration officials on Saturday acknowledged that some other laws appear to clash with Vacancies Act, but said that in this case the president's authority takes precedent.

Who prevails in the legal wrangling is seen as important even though this involves just a temporary posting. Getting a permanent replacement approved by the Senate could take months.

The president's pick for temporary appointee, Mick Mulvaney, had been widely anticipated. Mulvaney, currently director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been an outspoken critic of the agency and is expected to pull back on many of Cordray's actions in the six years since he was appointed.

Trump announced he was picking Mulvaney within a few hours of Cordray's announcement on Friday.

The administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the White House's thinking, called Trump's appointment of an acting director a "routine move." They said the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has already approved Trump's appointment of Mulvaney and will issue a written legal opinion soon.

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?

One of the administration officials said Mulvaney was expected to start working Monday and that English was expected to also show up - but as deputy director.

The agency has been tangled in in partisan politics since its creation, with the two competing appointees a reflection of that.

English is a trusted lieutenant of Cordray's who has helped investigate and punish financial companies in ways that many Republicans, Mulvaney in particular, think go too far. In his announcement Friday, Cordray highlighted English's "in-depth" knowledge of the agency's operations and its staff. Before joining the CFPB, English served at the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management.

"Leandra is a seasoned professional who has spent her career of public service focused on promoting smooth and efficient operations," Cordray said in the statement.

Mulvaney was a South Carolina representative to the House before becoming head of the budget office. A founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, he was elected in 2010 as part of a tea party wave that brought many critics of the U.S. budget deficit to office. He has taken a hard line on federal spending matters, routinely voting against increasing the government's borrowing cap and pressing for major cuts to benefit programs as the path to balancing the budget.

He also has been unsparing in his criticism of the CFPB. In a widely quoted comment, he once blasted the agency as "joke," saying its lack of oversight by Congress and its far-reaching regulations had gone too far.

"The place is a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody," he told the Credit Union Times in 2014. "It turns up being a joke in a sick, sad kind of way."

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee and a longtime critic of Cordray, said Mulvaney would "fight not only to protect consumers from force, fraud, and deception but will protect them from government interference with competitive, innovative markets and help preserve their fundamental economic opportunities and liberties."

Democrats have seized upon Mulvaney's words in criticizing his appointment to the agency.

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, issued a statement Saturday calling Mulvaney "unacceptable" to lead the CFPB because of his "noxious" views toward its mission to protect consumers.

"He was also the original co-sponsor of a bill to completely eliminate the Consumer Bureau," she wrote, "and supported other legislation to harmfully roll back Wall Street reform."

COMMENTS

More Related News

Democrat Jones wins U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump
Democrat Jones wins U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump
  • US
  • 2017-12-13 03:42:41Z

Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama on Tuesday, U.S. media projected, dealing a political blow to President Donald Trump in a race marked by accusations of sexual misconduct against Republican candidate Roy Moore. The stunning upset by Jones makes

U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general
U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general
  • US
  • 2017-12-11 22:47:56Z

The U.S. Education Department under President Donald Trump and Secretary Betsy DeVos has stopped cancelling the student-loan debt of people defrauded by failed for-profit schools and those borrowers face mounting interest and other burdens, its inspector general said on Monday. DeVos is seeking to redo the process for cancelling the debts of people who attended Corinthian Colleges, which collapsed in 2015 amid government investigations into its post-graduation rates, and other failed schools. In the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama approved rules speeding up the debt cancellations.

White House Slamming Media
White House Slamming Media's Mistakes Is Height Of Hypocrisy

WASHINGTON ― White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashed out at reporters on Monday in response to multiple high-profile corrections to news stories this month, falsely claiming that journalistic outlets do not regularly take responsibility for mistakes and intentionally publish inaccurate information.

Transgender People Can Enlist in Military Jan. 1, Pentagon Says
Transgender People Can Enlist in Military Jan. 1, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon official tells The Associated Press that transgender people can enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump's opposition.

Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is calling on President Donald Trump to resign over the more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.