The Dems are desperately trying to block Trump’s appointment of Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a watchdog agency created after the 2008 financial crisis to oversee financial products such as credit cards, mortgages, and student loans.
Acting CFPB director Leandra English filed a lawsuit against Trump on Sunday, challenging his decision to appoint Mulvaney to the post.
English, who was selected to lead the bureau following the abrupt retirement of former director Richard Cordray last Friday, argues that Trump does not have the authority to appoint a CFPB director.
Trump appointed Mulvaney under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows the president to select any Senate-confirmed administration official to lead a department or agency.
English argues that the Dodd-Frank Act, which outlines the CFPB’s line of succession, should take precedence over the Vacancies Act.
English’s complaint calls Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney “unlawful” and criticizes Trump’s use of the Vacancies Act as a “contravention of Congress’s statutory scheme” that “cannot be reconciled with Dodd-Frank’s mandatory language.” English is asking the court to bar Mulvaney from the position and to declare that the succession rules outlined in Dodd-Frank supersede the Vacancies Act.
“The president may not, consistent with the statutory requirement of independence, install a still-serving White House staffer as the acting head of an independent agency,” reads the complaint.
The disputed appointment pits the Trump Administration and the Justice Department against powerful Democratic lawmakers who have long championed the CFPB.
“The Trump Administration is ignoring the established, proper, legal order of succession that we purposefully put in place, in order to put a fox in charge of a hen house,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Democrats are terrified that Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, will destroy the CFPB from within. Mulvaney once referred to the CFPB as a “sick, sad joke” and supported legislation to eliminate the agency.
“All Americans should be deeply concerned about the White House’s cynical decision to flout the law and attempt to put the ringleader of its dangerous, anti-consumer protection policies in charge,” said Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
As far as the White House is concerned, Mulvaney is already the director. Officials said they are “aware” of the lawsuit and cited an opinion from Mary E. McLeod, the CFPB General Counsel, who agreed with the administration’s reading of the law.
“I advise all bureau personnel to act consistently with the understanding that Director Mulvaney is the acting director of the CFPB,” wrote McLeod.
Author’s Note: Leandra English doesn’t have enough money to go up against the president, so the real question here is: who is really behind the lawsuit?
At stake for the Dems is the possibility that the consumer bureau, which is one of the last holdouts within the federal government against Trump’s efforts to loosen business regulations, will be dissolved. I suspect there are some serious donors involved in this lawsuit – maybe Soros or even the DNC.
Editor’s Note: I can’t conceive that this could last very long, an actual insurrection within a government agency. This is unprecedented.