A group of Republicans in the Senate and the House has filed an amicus brief supporting President Donald Trump’s designation of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Trump appointed Mulvaney to lead the consumer watchdog in November following the resignation of former director Richard Cordray. Before his departure, Cordray endorsed CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English as his successor. English has since challenged Mulvaney’s right to the office.
The brief was signed by 38 senators and 75 representatives led by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).
In the brief, the lawmakers argued that the president’s authority to designate the CFPB’s acting director, found in the text of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, was not superseded the Dodd-Frank Act. The lawmakers also argued that English’s position risks presidential encroachment on the advice and consent power of Congress and that the court should avoid the constitutional issues she presented.
“The Federal Vacancies Reform Act has been US law for 20 years,” Crapo said. “If Congress wanted to supersede the Vacancies Reform Act, and prevent a president from appointing an acting director, it could have done so in the text of Dodd-Frank. But, Congress chose not to. I have long argued that the CFPB lacks sufficient accountability, but Director Mulvaney has so far made the bureau more accountable and transparent, while also fulfilling its mission of protecting consumers. It is in the public’s best interest for him to serve until the nomination and confirmation of a permanent director.”
“For nearly two decades, the president has had the authority to appoint an interim director under the Federal Vacancies Act,” Hensarling said. “It’s what the Justice Department says, and it’s what the CFPB’s own general counsel – an Obama appointee – says. Director Mulvaney continues to be an outstanding acting director as he restores true and meaningful accountability and due process of law to an agency that desperately needs it. After all, the problem with the CFPB isn’t who’s running it, the problem is the CFPB and its creator, the Dodd-Frank Act.”