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2 people are now claiming to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

28 November 2017

"Now that the CFPB's own general counsel - who was hired under 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 spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"Ms. English has a clear legal entitlement to the position of acting director of the CFPB", the lawsuit read, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Before resigning Friday, CFPB Director Richard Cordray named chief of staff Leandra English his deputy director and presumed acting director.

Mulvaney and English both issued statements on Monday morning indicating they were in charge of the 1,600-employee CFPB.

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"Bank regulation is a very sensitive business", Frank said in an interview Monday. Mulvaney himself has in the past described the agency as a "joke", and is widely expected to dismantle much of what it has achieved in the past decade. The spark? Two bureaucrats vying for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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"To ensure the Bureau's independence, Congress specified that the Director would not serve at the pleasure of the President and could instead be removed only for cause", the lawsuit adds.

Mr Mulvaney, who was confirmed as the White House budget director in February, has described the agency as an unaccountable bureaucracy gone rogue, calling it "one of the most offensive concepts" in the U.S. government. Even the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel acknowledged, in its November 25 memo to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, that this language applies, conceding that "the resignation of the Director would satisfy the requirement of 'absence or unavailability.' Therefore, the statute would permit a properly appointed Deputy Director to serve as the Acting Director during a vacancy". CFPB also has broad regulatory authority over financial institutions with assets over $10 billion. 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 precedence. Now the CFPB general counsel has weighed in and said that the law backs the President's appointment of Mulvaney.

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Rather than waiting for the courts to decide which interpretation of the rule is correct, however, both English and Mulvaney have gone on the offensive, with the former filing a lawsuit on Sunday evening to prevent Trump from appointing his pick to the agency's lead role, citing the Dodd-Frank provision in its arguments. Hours later, the Republican president named Mulvaney as acting head, plunging the bureau into uncertainty.

"Even when the Vacancies Reform Act is not the "exclusive" means for filling a vacancy, the statute remains an available option, and the president may rely upon it in designating an acting official in a manner that differs from the order of succession otherwise provided by an office-specific statute", he wrote in a memo. Directed by Trump, whose businesses, in an effort to make a buck, have run afoul of the law time and again, Mulvaney said he was set to "bring this business attitude towards the way we run the government".

Pelosi says in a statement that the White House wants "to put the ringleader of its unsafe, anti-consumer protection policies in charge" of the agency.

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2 people are now claiming to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau