GOP senator: We shouldn’t play games with dueling CFPB appointments

GOP senator: We shouldn’t play games with dueling CFPB appointments
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTrump seeks to quell Russia furor GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh Sens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix MORE (R-Ohio) on Sunday said he hopes politicians “won’t play those kind of games” on dueling appointments to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“My hope is, you know, that we won’t play those kind of games," Portman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked about dueling appointments by exiting CFPB director Richard Cordray and President Trump for interim director of the independent agency. Portman backed Trump's authority to decide who will lead the agency, which is now without a director.

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Portman also criticized Cordray for trying to "circumvent" the president in appointing a new leader of the bureau. Cordray stepped down on Friday from his post as the head of the bureau, but first promoted chief of staff Leandra English to serve as the deputy director, a position which is directed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to lead the bureau in the absence of a director. 

Trump, also on Friday, appointed White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyWho watches the ‘watchdog?’ It's time for accountability for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump suggests China is easing pressure on North Korea because of trade fight | Mulvaney taps top aide as No. 2 at consumer bureau | House Republican to offer bill to curtail Trump's trade powers MORE to serve as the bureau’s interim director. 

“First of all, my understanding is that Richard Cordray resigned a week earlier than he was planning to in order to put his deputy in charge, you know, trying to circumvent the normal process [which] would be that the president would have the ability to appoint somebody on an interim basis until Congress confirms a new director,” Portman said.

The Trump administration has argued it is legally allowed to appoint Mulvaney to serve as the interim director. 

Portman on Sunday also said lawmakers should move to confirm a new director for the bureau “quickly.”