Tags: leandra english | mick mulvaney | richard cordray

Cordray: Law Is Clear, English Is Legal Interim CFPB Director

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 10:27 AM

The law makes it clear that Deputy Director Leandra English should be in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and not White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, former director Richard Cordray, who appointed English before resigning his post, said Tuesday.

"I think it's clear in the law, which says that the director of the agency, and that was me as of Friday, has the right and the duty to pick a deputy director," Cordray told CNN's "New Day" program. "I did that. It's English. And then the deputy director should serve as acting director when the director is unavailable through a vacancy, which happened when I resigned Friday night at midnight."

Cordray said he does believe English is the acting director, even though President Donald Trump's administration has a different opinion, so it will remain up to the courts to determine.

The president is referring to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to justify his decision to appoint Mulvaney, a frequent critic of the agency, to head it until a permanent director is named.

Cordray on Tuesday denied that he was playing politics or trying to frustrate Trump by naming England.

"The law says the director shall appoint a director, so I felt obliged to fulfill a duty on my way out the door," said Cordray. "This is set up, by design, to be an independent federal agency, similar to the Federal Reserve. In fact, it's in the government organizational chart."

Cordray said the agency's mission is to protect consumers, and he's considered that as an important mission.

"If that frustrates the president, the president like everybody else has to deal with the law and has to be bound by the law," he said. "We don't  know exactly what the outcome of this is going to be until a judge decides it because it's a serious legal question."

The matter should be decided, he added, through the respectful, orderly court process, and "should not be decided by tweets and insults and name calling. There are parts of Washington that like to deal with issues that way, and that's not my way of dealing with the issues and I like to deal with the merits and that the law is followed."

Cordray also rejected the White House's criticism of the CFPB, saying that the agency is an important consumer advocate.

"This agency got back $12 billion to people who had been cheated or mistreated by banks, that's 30 million Americans," said Cordray. "This agency gave people a voice, when you have a complaint or problem that is costing you $20 or $50, you know it's wrong but there's not much you can do about it, they started to bring those complaints to us."

Banks made record profits last year, he added, and now he wonders if there will be someone to look over their shoulders to make sure they do things right and don't cut corners or take advantage of consumers.

Trump, though, has said regulations from the CFPB and other agencies has hurt the nation's business, but Cordray said it important to keep consumers strong and protected to keep the economy moving.

"If consumers are strong and protected and if they can trust the marketplace and feel confident they are not being treated here and there, the consumers can drive the economy forward," said Cordray. "That's exactly what they are doing. Mortgage and housing up double digits the last two years leading the economic recovery, and auto sales have been at the all-time highs the last couple years. When the consumer is strong, the economy will be strong."

He described England as a career professional who concentrates on agency operations, and as the "perfect person to see the agency through an interim period like this."

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The law makes it clear that Deputy Director Leandra English should be in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and not White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, former director Richard Cordray, said Tuesday.
leandra english, mick mulvaney, richard cordray
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 10:27 AM
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