Democrats Refuse to Recognize Mulvaney as 'Active Director' of the CFPB

Mick Mulvaney / Getty Images
November 27, 2017

Democrats are continuing to recognize Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) deputy director Leandra English over Mick Mulvaney, who became the bureau's interim director following Richard Cordray's resignation.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.) are refusing to recognize Mulvaney, who also heads up the Office of Management and Budget, as the director after President Donald Trump appointed him. English filed a lawsuit against the White House Sunday for this decision, asserting that Mulvaney's appointment is unlawful.

Masto showed her support for English's leadership in a press release Monday. Saying her office will "recognize her [English's] leadership" as "Acting Director."

"Wall Street Reform specifically provides that the Deputy Director of the CFPB will become the Acting Director of the agency in the event of a vacancy. President Trump must respect the law and allow Leandra English to fulfill her obligations to American consumers," Masto said. "She is now the Acting Director of the CFPB, and my office will recognize her leadership."

"If President Trump wishes to have an alternate person run the Bureau, he should nominate that individual and provide them with a chance to be considered before the Senate," Masto added.

Warren, for her part, referred to English as the "new director" and the "active director" on cable news appearances throughout the day.

When asked on CNBC about English meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and herself, Warren responded by defending English.

"As I understand, since she is the new director, acting director of the agency she's done exactly as she should," Warren said.

During an interview with Bloomberg, Warren said she sees English as the acting director.

"The acting director right now is Leandra English," Warren said.

Masto and Warren also reiterated English’s lawsuit saying the president's appointment of a new head to the CFPB is "unlawful."

"The President’s purported or intended appointment of defendant Mulvaney as Acting Director of the CFPB is unlawful," English's lawsuit said.

"The talented and hard-working CFPB staff stand up for consumers every day. As Acting Director, I am filing this lawsuit to stand up for the CFPB," English said in a statement.

CFPB General Counsel, Mary E. McLeod, and Mulvaney have advised and directed the staff to disregard instructions from English and "act consistently" according to Mulvaney's leadership.

"I advise all Bureau personnel to act consistently with the understanding that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director of the CFPB," McLeod wrote in a letter to CFPB senior leaders.

"Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as Acting Director," Mulvaney's memo said. "If you receive additional communications from her today...please inform the General Counsel."