November 27, 2017
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The White House announced last week that Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will serve as acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) until a permanent candidate is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. Mulvaney replaces Richard Cordray, who stepped down as CFPB Director on Friday.

Trump is appointing Mulvaney through power his Administration claims is granted to him by the Federal Vacancies Act, which allows the President to appoint current government officials previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in certain other government positions in an acting capacity. Mulvaney will continue to lead OMB concurrently with his duties at CFPB.

Cordray and other policymakers have questioned Trump’s authority to appoint Mulvaney. On Friday, before departing CFPB, Cordray appointed Leandra English, his chief of staff, as deputy director of CFPB, a position that was vacant. Cordray appointed English to the deputy position so that she could serve as acting director after he left. Cordray and English argue that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which established CFPB, authorizes the deputy director to take over CFPB in an acting capacity when the director position is vacant.

English has filed suit to prevent Mulvaney or any other Trump appointee from taking over CFPB in an acting capacity. A judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC has tentatively scheduled a hearing on this dispute for later on the afternoon of November 27.

Reports indicate that both Mulvaney and English were present at CFPB headquarters today, with each claiming to be serving as acting director.

Regardless of the outcome of this dispute, the acting director will serve until a new director is nominated and confirmed. President Trump has not nominated a candidate to lead the CFPB on a permanent basis.