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Barney Frank: Leandra English Should Remain as CFPB Director

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By    |   Monday, 27 November 2017 09:23 AM

Leandra English should remain as interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rather than be replaced by President Donald Trump's choice, Mick Mulvaney, former Rep. Barney Frank, co-sponsor of the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank bill, said Monday.

"Clearly the deputy director should run the agency," the former Democratic lawmaker told CNN's "New Day" program. "When we wrote the law, and deliberately tried to give it (the CFPB) some protection from the normal process, and Mulvaney is right about that, the vacancy law was already in the books."

Knowing what was already written a later law, more specifically tailored to the CFPB's current situation, covers the matter, said Frank.

The CFPB, which oversees financial institutions, monitors markets, and protects consumers from financial fraud, was inspired by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and created through Dodd-Frank to safeguard Americans from predatory lending practices, CNN reports. 

Since that time, it has become a powerful regulator, including fining Wells Fargo $100 million over its scandal including fake accounts.

English had been chief of staff to bureau director Richard Cordray, who promoted her to deputy director last week before he resigned. However, Trump appointed Mulvaney, a frequent critic of the agency to become its acting director.

She has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that her appointment to the key role was authorized through the Dodd-Frank reform law. Her lawsuit asks for a declaratory judgment and a temporary restraining order to block Mulvaney from taking over the bureau.

Frank said Monday that every bank-regulating agency has got to have autonomy, and political interference must be kept to a minimum, so the control of currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance aren't subject to political associations.

"We gave a five-year term, removable by the president only for cause," said Frank. "You don't want the autonomy to end. It was to let the five-year term continue for five years, even if there was a problem with the head of the agency physically or some other way."

Frank said he also disagrees with Mulvaney's contention that the CFPB is out of control.

"It has been in existence more than five years now," said Frank."They do not give one single example of abuse. They talk about an agency out of control, it's a bureaucratic monster. You would think they would say, and here's what they did that was wrong. It created this sort of problem.

"What is an example of what they did wrong? They have gotten protection from people who were being abused by student loan collectors when the loan wasn't due. They have gone after Wells Fargo."

He added that if banks want to avoid paying charges to the CFPB, "you don't do what Wells Fargo did. Those are things banks should be doing anyway."

It's also hard for the Trump Administration to argue that the CFPB is crippling the markets and banks at the time when the stock market is at an all-time high, said Frank.

The main issue, said Frank, is that the Trump Administration is "trying to weaken" the influence of the Obama administration, including the CFPB.

"He is sending the budget director to run it," said Frank. "Doesn't it occur to people that the budget director has a couple other things he should be worrying about?"

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Leandra English should remain as interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rather than be replaced by President Donald Trump's choice, Mick Mulvaney, former Rep. Barney Frank, co-sponsor of the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank bill, said Monday.
barney frank, leandra english, remain, cfpb, chief
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2017-23-27
Monday, 27 November 2017 09:23 AM
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