Trump pick is winner, for now, in fight over consumer agency
FOX Business News
By Jessica Gresko and Ken Sweet
November 28, 2017
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump scored a victory Tuesday when a federal judge refused to block the president’s choice to temporarily run the nation’s top consumer financial watchdog and, for the moment, ended a two-way battle for leadership of the agency.
Judge Timothy Kelly declined to stop the president from putting Mick Mulvaney in place as the acting director of the CFPB. In doing so, Kelly ruled against Leandra English, the CFPB’s deputy director, who had requested an emergency restraining order to stop Mulvaney from becoming the acting director.
Both Mulvaney and English claimed to be the rightful acting director, with each citing different federal laws. The leadership crisis developed over the weekend after the CFPB’s permanent director, Richard Cordray, resigned and appointed English as his successor. Shortly afterward, the White House announced that Mulvaney, currently budget director, would take over the CFPB on an interim basis.
The judge’s ruling Tuesday is not the final decision in the case. But in making his decision, the judge said that English had not shown a substantial likelihood that she eventually would succeed on the merits of her case. The judge’s decision is not immediately appealable.
The White House said it “applauds the court’s decision,” saying it provides “further support for the president’s rightful authority to designate Director Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB.”
Trump’s authority to install Mulvaney was backed up by Mary McLeod, the CFPB’s general counsel, who wrote a memo over the weekend agreeing with the White House that Mulvaney should be recognized as acting director. The Office of Legal Counsel, which acts as a legal adviser to the president, also argued that Mulvaney, not English, was the legitimate acting director of the agency.
Read the article HERE.
As I mentioned in my article yesterday, this should be the reasonable answer a judge makes based on the constitution and issue at hand. The opinion expressed by the Appeals Court last October certainly made quite a case for the dangers of overreach by this group. Restructuring of the CFPB from one department head to several who sit on a board is the answer the judge put forth as the least fuss and muss while maintaining the purpose of the watchdog group. Having funding sent through transparent, audit, and budgetary procedures should be another means of check and balance.
One fact that I haven’t seen in some of the MSM articles is that even the legal advisors of the CFPB also believed that the President had the right to appoint someone. Just like other groups authorized by Congress, the core purpose was to meet a need; but overall, they have done a lot to hinder growth and have never been held accountable for their actions or their results. This one though had no braking mechanism and no board of several cooler heads to hash through issues.
CFPB unduly restricts access to credit without oversight from Congress or the executive branch. Heritage Foundation wrote an article in 2016 about how invasive they had become while ultimately limiting Americans’ credit choices.
The restructuring as noted by the judge stems from the fact that one person has all the power to make, break, or direct focus without any oversight or collaboration either from within the bureau, from congress, or the executive branch. That person held more power than those in congress, the enforcement and financial branches, or even the President to effect an entire nation’s economy and financial well-being.
I don’t see this lawsuit progressing. However, if it should then I hope the entire staff are prepared for the results. While the premise of consumer protection is a good one, in this instance the bureau was not well-thought out or structured–but then what else would one expect coming from the liberal socialist professor who developed the concept.
This group should NEVER have been given the power or control that it has used since 2011. In addition there is the issue of receiving operating funds not from a government budget but from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is itself a serious issue considering they are wholly private and independent of our congressional oversight or constraints. It has long been thought they also might need to be reined in.
For now, it is good to see that the appropriate action and person was quickly moved into place by a President who has been making good on his agenda to help the country grow again and to dismantle unnecessary or dangerously out of control government bureaucracy.