President Donald Trump should fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau immediately, a top Republican lawmaker insisted.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) urged Trump to fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray during a recent interview with Fox Business host Stuart Varney.
“I think he has the legal authority to do that, and I would encourage our president to do that as soon as possible,” Hensarling said.
Hensarling called the CFPB “Orwellian” and said that Cordray was “largely responsible” for consumers’ current difficulties obtaining mortgages.
“I encourage our president to move quickly (to fire Cordray),” he said.
Cordray has long been a divisive figure. Republicans want to show him the door; Democrats have vowed to fight tooth and nail to keep him. And the CFPB itself was set up in such a way that the director could only be fired for cause – an attempt to shield the agency from changing political winds. In effect, Cordray could only be removed for provable neglect or malfeasance in office. No president has ever removed an appointee for cause – and the three times a president has tried, the attempt was shot down by the courts, according to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.
But Republicans have long said that Cordray’s very job security gives him dangerous latitude and practically no accountability. An appeals court panel agreed last year, ruling that the CFPB’s structure was unconstitutional. But the agency is appealing that ruling, and Democratic lawmakers and attorneys general from 17 states have joined that fight.