Republicans file brief supporting Mulvaney

The group of 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), filed the brief late last week.

More than 100 Congressional Republicans have filed an amicus brief supporting Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The group of 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), filed the brief late last week.

This is the latest salvo in the ongoing debate about the successor to Richard Cordray at the CFPB. In November, the same day he resigned, Cordray named former chief of staff Leandra English as deputy director of the agency, to serve as the bureau’s acting director. A few hours after English’s promotion, however, Trump appointed Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the CFPB’s interim director.

Supporters of English cite the Dodd-Frank Act, which says that if there is a deputy director at the time of the director’s resignation, they become acting director. English has filed several lawsuits to block Mulvaney, none of them successful so far.

Mulvaney’s backers point to the Federal Vacancies Appointment Act, which they say gives Trump the authority name Cordray’s interim replacement as well as his permanent one.

“The Federal Vacancies Reform Act has been U.S. law for 20 years,” Crapo in a statement accompanying the brief. “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.”

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.”

Crapo and Hensarling both praised Mulvaney’s work leading the CFPB, with Crapo saying he has “made the bureau more accountable and transparent, while also fulfilling its mission of protecting consumers.”

Mulvaney recently issued a five-year plan for the CFPB, which would implement a more low-key approach to regulation than that pursued by the bureau under Cordray.

“It is in the public’s best interest for him to serve until the nomination and confirmation of a permanent director,” Crapo said.