Mulvaney appoints top aide as consumer bureau acting No. 2

Mulvaney appoints top aide as consumer bureau acting No. 2
© Getty Images

Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Trump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE on Monday promoted a top aide to be the agency’s acting deputy chief.

The CFPB announced Monday that Mulvaney had appointed Brian Johnson to be the agency’s acting deputy director. Johnson had previously served as the CFPB’s principal policy director. He had been hired by Mulvaney last year to rein in and rebrand the controversial regulator.

Mulvaney said Johnson, the first person he hired to the bureau, has been an “indispensable advisor,” that “knows the Bureau like the back of his hand.”

“He approaches his role as a public servant with humility and unsurpassed dedication,” Mulvaney said in a statement. “His steady character, work ethic, and commitment to free markets and consumer choice make him exactly what our country needs at this agency.”

Johnson was a top aide to Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingOn The Money: Fed chief lays out risks of trade war | Senate floats new Russia sanctions amid Trump backlash | House passes bill to boost business investment House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment On The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Hensarling led House Republican efforts to investigate the CFPB, gut the agency’s powers and impose congressional oversight over the regulator designed to be independent from lawmakers’ whims.

Mulvaney also hired Kirsten Sutton Mork, another former Hensarling aide, to be his chief of staff at the CFPB.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE has nominated Kathy Kraninger, an associate director at the Office of Budget and Management, to be the CFPB’s permanent director. While Mulvaney will be forced to leave the bureau once a replacement is confirmed, Johnson could stay at the pleasure of the new director.

Johnson steps into the role vacated Monday by Leandra English, the former CFPB deputy director, who had sued Trump and Mulvaney for control of the bureau.

Mulvaney said in a statement that “I really cannot comment on Leandra English’s work at the Bureau, as I never actually met her.”

English typically worked out of a CFPB office near the Capitol during Mulvaney’s stint at the bureau’s headquarters near the White House.

English was appointed to be the CFPB’s deputy director by former bureau chief Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayTrump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Liberals view Kavanaugh as existential threat to consumer bureau Mulvaney appoints top aide as consumer bureau acting No. 2 MORE moments before he resigned from the agency in November. Cordray’s promotion of English, his former chief of staff, put her in line to be the CFPB’s acting chief under the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the bureau.

Trump appointed Mulvaney, the White House budget director, to serve as acting chief hours after Cordray’s resignation. English sued Trump and Mulvaney, but a federal district judge ruled that the president had the authority to supercede the CFPB’s line of succession.

English had appealed the verdict to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which heard arguments in the case in April.