Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who co-authored the 2010 law that established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said Monday that Deputy Director Leandra English should "clearly" run the agency amid controversy over the appointment of Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyTrump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook Jan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision MORE.
“When we wrote the law creating the CFPB, and we deliberately tried to give it some protection from the normal political process,” Frank said on CNN's "New Day."
English, who was tapped by former Director Richard Cordray to be the acting director, filed a complaint Sunday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against President Trump and Mulvaney, after the president nominated Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, to lead the CFPB.
Passed in 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB and called on the bureau’s deputy director to serve as acting director between Senate-confirmed chiefs. Cordray promoted English, his chief of staff, to the deputy director position shortly before resigning from the bureau on Friday.
But Trump nominated Mulvaney to be the CFPB’s acting director soon afterward on Friday evening, claiming he had the power to do so under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. That law empowers the president to nominate any Senate-confirmed administration official as acting director of a department or agency.
English has asked the court to not only bar Mulvaney from the position, but declare that Dodd-Frank’s line of succession supersedes the vacancies act. English has also asked the court to ban Trump from appointing another acting director.
“In this case because we knew that fighting the large financial interests on behalf of consumers was going to put you in the battlefield everyday, so we did do deliberately special protections,” Frank said Monday. “We gave the director of this agency a five-year term, removable by the president only for cause.”
Democrats have staunchly opposed Mulvaney’s nomination, saying he would gut the bureau and undermine its purpose.