Is the real reason behind Senator Elizabeth Warren’s outrage over Mick Mulvaney’s appointment as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about her own political survival?
CFPB’s own General Counsel – who was hired under [outgoing director] Richard Cordray – has notified the Bureau’s leadership that she agrees with the Administration’s and DOJ’s reading of the law, there should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Cordray decided to put his political ambition above the interests of consumers with this stunt. Director Mulvaney will bring a more serious and professional approach to running the CFPB.”
The White House also argued in an opinion issued Saturday by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that it is within the president’s right to appoint an acting director. Steven A. Engel, newly confirmed head of the office, wrote that while the deputy director could serve as acting director under the statute, the president has the power to make appointments under the Vacancies Reform Act.
Consumer agency official sues Trump administration over its leadership
The federal official tapped by an outgoing Obama appointee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Agency filed a lawsuit on Sunday challenging President Trump’s decision to instead appoint his budget director to the post – setting up a Monday showdown at the controversial agency.
The disputed appointment has pitted the Trump White House and Justice Department against top congressional Democrats, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., saying Deputy Director Leandra English should serve as acting director until a new boss is confirmed.
“[T]he 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,” Schumer said in a statement.
English, who was named the successor to the top position at the agency by its outgoing director, is now seeking in court a declaratory judgment and temporary restraining order to block White House budget director Mick Mulvaney from taking over the bureau. She claims Trump did not have the authority to make that appointment.
The White House said Monday it is “aware” of the suit, but cited an opinion in their favor from the bureau’s own general counsel and said “the law is clear.”