The editorial board of the New York Times accused President Trump of using an ongoing court case regarding the constitutionality of the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as a springboard for what it dubbed a “bigger power play” to expand the Executive Branch’s authority over federal regulatory agencies.
In an editorial titled “Mr. Trump Goes After Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
,” the newspaper asserted that the CFPB was arguably the “most visible accomplishment” of the Dodd-Frank Act and insisted that a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit against the single-director set-up of the CFPB was “inconsistent” with the 2010 law.
The editorial also claimed that the presidents wanted to fire CFPB Richard Cordray because the Department of Justice backed the Appeals Court ruling that a president should have the authority to remove the agency’s director. Although President Trump has never mentioned Cordray’s name in any public address and his administration, the Times’ editors insisted that the White House is using this case to give the president more power in dismissing independent regulators.
“Mr. Cordray is not the only agency head with statutory protections from removal at will by the president,” the editorial said. “The heads of the Office of Special Counsel, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Reserve, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies are also shielded. Such protection is intended to insulate independent agencies from political interference.”