Deputy consumer bureau chief challenges court ruling for control of agency

Deputy consumer bureau chief challenges court ruling for control of agency
© Camille Fine

The deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked a federal court Wednesday night to halt a previous ruling that cleared President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE to appoint a temporary chief in her place.

The move by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English is the latest maneuver in the fight for control of the agency.

English filed an injunction in the District Court for the District of Columbia to block Office of Budget and Management Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE from leading the agency.

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English’s complaint asks the court to impose her restraining order against Mulvaney after it dismissed her effort two weeks ago.

English had sued Mulvaney, who Trump appointed to lead the CFPB until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement, and the president, claiming the Dodd-Frank Act made her the rightful acting director.

The deputy director argues in the new filing that Mulvaney is ineligible to run the CFPB because of the line of succession established in Dodd-Frank. English also claims Mulvaney’s appointment violates the Federal Reserve’s independence since the CFPB was created within the Fed system and Mulvaney is a senior White House aide.

Dodd-Frank, which established the CFPB, calls for the deputy director to serve as acting director in between Senate-confirmed permanent directors.

The law’s architects, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), said last week they wrote the provision explicitly to prevent the president installing a new head, acting or permanent, without Senate approval.

The White House and Department of Justice argued that Trump had the power to supersede Dodd-Frank’s line of succession through the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. That law empowers the president to appoint any Senate-confirmed administration member to be an acting head of a department or agency.

Then-CFPB Director Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayOn The Money: Consumer bureau proposes scrapping borrower safeguards from payday loan rule | Negotiators running out of time to avert shutdown | Trump nominates World Bank critic as its next chief Consumer bureau proposes scrapping borrower safeguards from payday loan rule Supreme Court should do what Congress won’t: Rein in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection MORE promoted English to the deputy director spot hours before he resigned from the bureau. Trump soon after appointed Mulvaney, a staunch critic of the CFPB, to lead the agency.