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Cordray: ‘Different Laws’ Created CFPB Power Struggle

Phil Hall
Nov 28, 2017
Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is consulting with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the creation of a state-level version of the federal regulatory agency

Richard Cordray made a rare television appearance last night to comment on the confusion he left behind following his resignation as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). However, his comments only seemed to further the confusion.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Cordray insisted that his appointment of Leandra English as acting director following his resignation was appropriate.
“The law is clear here,” Cordray said, referring to a Dodd-Frank Act provision. “It says that the Director, which was me on Friday, shall appoint a Deputy Director. I did that. It then says very clearly and simply that … if there’s an absence or an unavailability of the Director, the Deputy Director becomes the Acting Director. That’s what Ms. English has now done.”
However, Cordray backpedaled when it was pointed out that President Trump cited the Vacancies Act of 1998 as the legal justification in his appointment of Mick Mulvaney as the CFPB’s Acting Director.
“This is the type of disagreement that involves two different laws,” he said. “They conflict with one another. The right place to hash that out is in the courts, which it is right now. It shouldn’t be decided by name calling and tweets and insults. It should be decided by people presenting their arguments and a judge thinking it over.”
Mulvaney, who is also Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), stated that English did not show up at the CFPB’s headquarters yesterday.
"She wasn't here," Mulvaney told reporters outside of the agency’s offices. "In the ordinary world, if you don't call, you don't show, you don't have a job the next day, but I'm not sure how it works here."
English did show up on Capitol Hill for a photo opportunity and private meeting with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but refused to take questions from reporters. English’s lawsuit to void the Mulvaney appointment was heard yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, but no ruling was made.

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