Mulvaney Wants More Political Appointees in Place at CFPB

Mae Love
December 7, 2017

Employees within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are using encrypted messaging apps to conspire various ways of resisting acting director Mick Mulvaney's agenda, according to a Tuesday report. Mulvaney has a clear record opposing the CFPB, calling it a "sick joke", and has sought to abolish it.

The group calls itself "Dumbledore's Army", a reference to a fictional secret cabal of young wizards in the children's fantasy series "Harry Potter", The New York Times reported.

Other employees, some of whom are in senior leadership, have welcomed Mulvaney, even though he has publicly lambasted the consumer watchdog agency that was formed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Mulvaney has always been a critic of the six-year-old agency and its leadership structure, endowed with a single director rather than a commission. "Whether they truly are behind him or not is a different story".

Relying on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the CFPB in 2010, English became acting director when her predecessor, Richard Cordray announced his resignation on November 15.

"I'm looking at each of those on an individual basis, so it's going to take a while to sort of get through all of those", Mulvaney said. On Monday, he said he was also reviewing more than 100 pending enforcement actions, including litigation as well as private settlement talks and investigations.

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Both sides then battled over who had the legal authority to name the successor. "Following the Dodd-Frank succession provision and nominating a Director who will fight for consumers allows the CFPB to continue its work without political interference".

Mulvaney has already brought in Brian Johnson, a former aide to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), to be a senior aide at the bureau.

The general counsel for the CFPB sided with the Trump administration on the matter. A federal judge last week refused to grant an emergency injunction that would have given Ms.

Trump "wants to move expeditiously" on naming a permanent replacement but the Senate confirmation process is likely to take some time and Mulvaney expects to be in the interim role for up to seven months, he said in an interview Reuters.

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