Legal dispute brewing over CFPB leadership

It is unclear who between Cordray’s appointed deputy director or Trump’s temporary pick should lead the watchdog

Legal dispute brewing over CFPB leadership
The leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now the subject of a brewing legal dispute following Richard Cordray’s departure as director of the consumer watchdog, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

President Donald Trump has named Mick Mulvaney to temporarily lead the CFPB in addition to his current role as director of the Office of Management and Budget. However, the CFPB had earlier announced that Leandra English has been named deputy director of the agency.

Bloomberg said Cordray’s move to appoint a deputy to serve as CFPB acting director is widely seen as an attempt to prevent the White House from appointing a successor. According to the report, it is unclear who will head the agency with two officials appointed to the same post. The issue may play out in the courts until the Senate confirms a permanent successor.

The Department of Justice backed Trump’s right to name Mulvaney to act as director temporarily. Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel said in a memo that the president “may designate an acting director of the CFPB.”

With English’s appointment as deputy director, she automatically assumes the acting director role upon Codray’s departure of Friday. However, Cordray’s power to appoint a successor is subject to legal debate, Bloomberg said.

Trump’s appointment of an interim leader is based on a federal vacancies law. White House officials said the administration made the decision after consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel under the Justice Department. Meanwhile, the Dodd-Frank Act provides the deputy director’s assumption to act as director in case of the latter’s absence or unavailability.

Trump is expected to choose a permanent appointee to head the CFPB in the coming weeks, according to the report.

Related stories:
Richard Cordray’s last act as CFPB head
Trump eyeing Mulvaney as temporary CFPB director