Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Showdown: Trump Appoints Director Who Vowed to Kill Agency


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. You can sign up for our daily headlines and
news alerts by texting the word democracynow, one word, to the number 66866. That’s democracynow, one word, to 66866. Over the weekend, a fight erupted over who
will become the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this morning. That’s the CFPB, the federal watchdog agency
that was established after the 2008 financial crisis to regulate banks, credit card companies,
payday lenders, impose fines for wrongdoing. Analysts say whoever is empowered as director
has a huge role in deciding what or how much the organization decides to regulate. After announcing his resignation earlier in
the month on Friday, the director of the Bureau, Richard Cordray, sent a letter to President
Trump announcing he was leaving and was appointing as his successor Leandra English, the Bureau’s
deputy director and his former chief of staff. But almost immediately, President Trump responded
with his own announcement that he planned to go ahead with his own appointment of budget
director Mick Mulvaney. Not that he is going to step down as budget
director—he will just add being head of this agency until he nominates someone to
take on the job. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “The Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a total disaster as run by the previous
Administrations pick. Financial Institutions have been devastated
and unable to properly serve the public. We will bring it back to life!” Trump said. While serving in Congress, Mulvaney said he
would try to do exactly the opposite. He would try to kill the Bureau, and voted
against it, and has since worked with Trump to roll back many of its rules. Trump’s nominee must be confirmed by the
Senate. In a memorandum obtained by POLITICO, the
CFPB’s General Counsel Mary McLeod said Trump had the legal authority to name an acting
director to the Bureau under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. But the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that created the
agency specifically calls for the deputy director to become acting director when the agency’s
top spot is vacant. So Richard Cordray said that English would
become the deputy director, so she automatically became the director. Late Sunday night, English filed a complaint
saying, quote, “The president’s purported or intended appointment of defendant Mulvaney
as Acting Director of CFPB is unlawful.” It also argued, “The president may not,
consistent with the statutory requirement of independence, install a still-serving White
House staffer as the acting head of an independent agency.” English also said in a statement Sunday, quote,
“The talented, dedicated, and hard-working staff of the CFPB spend every day standing
up for consumers. As acting director, I am filing this suit
to stand up for the CFPB.” Well, as we speak, there is a protest underway
outside the offices of the Bureau by a group calling itself the Defend CFPB Coalition,
including Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending, National Association
of Consumer Advocates, and others. For more, we go to Washington, D.C., where
we are joined by Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. The group’s hundreds of members helped lead
the fight for the creation of this Bureau. Lisa Donner, welcome to Democracy Now! I mean, this is extremely convoluted. Can you explain what is happening and who
is going to work today at the Bureau? LISA DONNER: Thank you very much for having
me. I appreciate it. And actually, I think you laid out a very
complicated situation extremely well in that opening. As you say, we believe that Leandra English
is the proper acting director of the CFPB. She and Mick Mulvaney I believe both showed
up for work today. The fact that she has filed this lawsuit last
night means that the courts will get to decide what happens. But there is a lot at stake for the Consumer
Bureau, which means there’s a lot at stake for the American public, because the Consumer
Bureau’s work is so important. AMY GOODMAN: Explain the Consumer Bureau—what
it was set up to do, the crisis it was trying to address, and what this all means. What these two acting heads represent. LISA DONNER: The Consumer Bureau was set up
after the crisis, I think based on the recognition that one of the sources of the crisis is that
there had not been any single federal financial regulator that was dedicated to, focused on,
that had the mission of consumer protection, and the full range of tools to take that on. That is part of the reason we ended up with
this explosion of abusive mortgages that cost millions and millions of people their homes
and were a trigger of a financial crisis that cost millions of people their jobs, and from
which most people in the country are still battling to recover. With the creation of the CFPB, we finally
do have an agency with that mission and with a range of tools to carry out that mission. And the CFPB has been living up to the promise. Living up to sort of realizing the idea that
was the reason for its creation and pursuing that mission. It has been extremely effective. It has won back through enforcement actions
about many problems, including problems that festered for years unaddressed, more than
$12 billion in relief for 29 million, 30 million consumers. It has written rules to take on abuses in
the payday and car title lending market. It has really put a spotlight on problems
in the student lending market and drawn attention and taken action to crack down on abuses by
sham for-profit schools. It has given special attention, as it was
mandated by Congress to do, to the problems of students and of servicemembers and veterans
and of seniors, including really making sure that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,
which provides certain special protections for active duty service members—to make
sure that financial problems are not—they are in a particularly vulnerable situation
because their job situation changes, because they are overseas—and to make sure that
their financial stability and their family’s financial stability is not undermined. Those rules have been on the books but not
been enforced. So CFPB has really taken up the charge that
it was given, to start to make financial markets fairer and safer. And I think that is exactly why it is so hated
in some quarters. It is not because it has failed, but because
it has succeeded, and is an example of the difference it makes if a regulatory agency
is willing to follow the facts, pay attention to what the public is saying, and be aggressive
in enforcement and in supervision and in rule writing when that is warranted by the harm
being caused to consumers. AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren who helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while
she was a Harvard Law School bankruptcy professor. She tweeted a response to Trump, saying, “The
only thing that will turn the @CFPB into a disaster is for @realDonaldTrump to ignore
Dodd-Frank & name an acting director determined to destroy the agency.” So what does it mean for Mick Mulvaney, who
has promised he would, well, try to kill this Bureau, to be named the head and also be the
budget director for President Trump? LISA DONNER: As you suggested in your opening,
there are at least three fundamental problems with Mick Mulvaney as acting director. One is that the CFPB statute clearly says
that the deputy director becomes the acting director. And as a number of legal commenters have pointed
out, the legislative history of the CFPB really underlines that that was the intent of the
drafters. There was one set of language in early versions,
and in the final version, there is clarification that there is this plan and process for what
happens. So that is one problem. A second problem, as you suggested, is that
the CFPB, like the other financial regulators, was established to be independent. And that is to free it some, or to at least
create some space from the influence of the very powerful industry that it is charged
with regulating, and to free it to focus on the facts. And it is profoundly contradictory to that
independence to have somebody who is an official of the White House, and who is charged with
carrying out executive branch policy, to be in charge of the Bureau. And then finally, Mick Mulvaney has said that
he—and wants to—that the CFPB shouldn’t exist. He said it is a sad, sick joke. He has supported and promoted legislation
to both get rid of it altogether and to get rid of specific powers and authorities of
the Bureau or to weaken it or make it unable to do its job again and again and again. And this is industry that—these are proposals,
rather, that some of the worst actors in the financial services industry support and promote
and argue for. And those were some of his largest campaign
donors when he was a congressman. He took $1.2 million from the financial services
industry, including the payday lenders, for example, who are among the most fierce opponents
of the Bureau. And they are opponents of the Bureau—they
hate it because they want to continue to be able to rip people off, and they want to continue
to be unaccountable. The same is true, for example, of the auto
dealers, who have been violently opposed to the CFPB’s efforts to end discrimination
in the way that auto loans, especially subprime auto loans, are priced. AMY GOODMAN: So, Lisa Donner, you also weigh
in on the whole issue of taxes. And this, well, as President Trump said, is
a very big week for taxes. He tweeted, “…big week for Tax Cuts and
many other things of great importance to our Country. Senate Republicans will hopefully come through
for all of us. The Tax Cut Bill is getting better and better. The end result will be great for ALL!” So fit this into—what is happening now with
the Bureau with what is happening now with President Trump’s push for tax reform. LISA DONNER: It is actually kind of remarkable. The tweets that Senator Warren was responding
to in those excellent tweets of hers, with President Trump saying the banks had been
destroyed by CFPB—the truth is big banks are doing extremely well, and small banks
are doing well, too. There’s just no foundation for that claim. It is sort of detached from reality. And at the same time that these kind of unneeded
gifts, like, “Here, rip people off more”—kind of gift in the form of trying to destroy the
work of the Consumer Bureau—they are also showering giant gifts on the financial industry
through the tax bill. It hasn’t been that widely reported on,
but Wells Fargo, the same Wells Fargo who just opened millions of fake accounts, and
has been avoiding accountability to the public for opening those millions of fake accounts
by making it impossible for people to take them to court around those millions of fake
accounts—Wells Fargo is actually perhaps the single largest beneficiary of the tax
cuts being proposed. And the other large banks are giant beneficiaries
as well, both of the cut in the corporate rate and in the “bring your overseas profits
home at a discount” pieces of the proposal. I will add that the private funds industry
also a giant beneficiary of the tax proposals in the form of the pass-through cuts that
are being made, although they probably want even more. So this is kind of piling—putting Mick Mulvaney
in charge of, or trying to put him in charge of the Consumer Bureau, is having a fox guard
a hen house, which is not even a powerful enough analogy, even as you are also giving
the fox presents of additional hen houses. AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very
much, Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. Its hundreds of members fought for the creation
of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Thank you so much for being with us. A number of people are outside the CFPB right
now protesting. We will see who will head up this agency in
the meantime. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, two nontraditional Democrats
win seats in Virginia and North Carolina. We will speak with both of them. Stay with us.

53 comments on “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Showdown: Trump Appoints Director Who Vowed to Kill Agency”

  1. sk8queen says:

    GOP … They care nothing for you…. The only reason the trumps deem it a disaster is that it highlights abuses by the rich and doesn't allow the rich free reign to abuse citizens.

  2. Ottoman Maldonado says:

    So obama can double national debt but its ok and obamas dirt bags workers can do what ever they want hahahaha……Trump 2020

  3. NAMELESS AWESOMENESS says:

    The banksters need more. T get more they need to be even freer to perpetuate fraud at planetary level. The only solution is to liquidate all banksters, their enablers, and cohorts. Money laundering Trump is definitely in the above-mentioned group.

  4. Seamus Warren says:

    Adding more alligators, snakes, toads and leeches to the swamp.

    Government and legislature seems full of cronies and phoney so-called progressives.

  5. facts check says:

    Trump keep playing the people and the kkk gone turn on him watch this he's a moron, hurting his own people!!!

  6. Lisa Houserman Lounging with Lisa says:

    Thank you for explaining that in a way that even I can understand. The guest was excellent.

  7. Colonel Angus says:

    the president appoints leaders not unelected hacks. English should be fired for insubordination.

  8. THE Smith. says:

    Good. There are laws on the books for consumer protection. Let some SJWs find employment in the real world like the rest of us.

  9. Chris P says:

    Uhm consumers are no longer protected….why consume things that could kill you anyway? Local local local never use a bank cash is fine when kept out of banks…one two one to one two all

  10. Respect/Walk says:

    funny thing I keep hearing the laws are there but not enforced , when does that ever happen in our lives

  11. russell bolden says:

    IS HE THE SON OF THE POLICE OFFICER IN CAR 54 CAUSE HE WAS A DOPE AND SO IS PRESIDENT PINOCCHIO.

  12. MagicKirin1 says:

    Typical one side lies from DN.

  13. Gladie Buyan says:

    Protest protest protest while you still can! If Trump has his way he will get rid of the 1st amendment completely so he can be the crooked dictator in chief hes always dreamed of!

  14. Linda Kennedy says:

    TRUMP is Such A Morally Bankrupt Con Artist

  15. 109ejg says:

    The government always knows best right?

  16. Bad Fairy says:

    Fake trump Uni.

  17. unun septium says:

    This is like if Trump let Sandusky babysit Baron.

  18. Bad Fairy says:

    Look what trump did to Scotland. Do not let him do it to the USA. Stop the con.

  19. Grim Locke says:

    Mick the Knife is an Enemy Of Life

  20. BrotherWoody1 says:

    Carve out CFPW from Dodd-Frank & make it a campaign issue. Dodd-Frank's "no bank is too big to fail" is a laughing stock & is as phoney as the FED's quantitative easing & Obama's redistribution process. The CFPW can be made to benefit most American classes below a certain economic level including most conservatives. Fannie & Freddie still need to go.

  21. Helen Patterson says:

    So did the director step down because of that bill that made it so banks can't be sued ?

  22. Morning Glory says:

    The agency is corrupt. It needs to be dissolved. I have watched Amy for a year now and notice she leave ALOT of information out of her reporting. CFPB has been collecting information on US citizens illegally. Go check Judicial Watch. THAT is what this is about. Dig deeper. Classic, this is what this sh*t is always about: Let's set up a new government agency to save everyone from evil, but then use it for covert surveillance. Please wake up. https://www.judicialwatch.org/bulletins/cfpb-amassing-data/

  23. Anti Hypocrite says:

    Hurry up FBI kick Trump out !

  24. Storie Grubb says:

    I think Trumps Tweets should always have this in parentheses… "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a total disaster (FOR ME AND MY RICH FRIENDS) as run by the previous administration pick. "

  25. MagicKirin1 says:

    The law that applies is the one dealing with Agency vacancies.

  26. Bruce Lee Roy says:

    What role did the administration play in closing trump University?

  27. Ernest L. Peña says:

    Dismantling it from the inside out. Like Rick Perry in energy and Pruitt to the epa

  28. tomitstube says:

    and trump's corporate coup of the people's government continues, trump is the government orwell warned us about.

  29. jim buchens says:

    How much more will we take America?

  30. Gavin Willacy says:

    Just another example of the divisiveness that exists at this time. Someone needs a lesson on who exactly pays the bills here; WE the PEOPLE!!. Hence, the responsibility resides with us (the public) not only to solve this annoyance but to ensure better for our children. (Honor to the Unknown Soldier)

  31. nujackswing says:

    What is Happening, Is The Whole World Is In The Toilet… & Those That Are In Charge Want To Bring 1930's Germany To The America… If I Use The Words "Narc Totalis..!!!) They Will Remove My Post… Vicious Pandemics! Love Self, Protect Life, Save The World…!!! Peace…!!!

  32. wesley ogilvie says:

    Republicans want to kill medicaid, social security, net neutrality, clean water and now the CFPB? Is nothing sacred to them?

  33. Dino Weber says:

    A fair deal is a deal no one party likes, if some people hate the CFPB it must be doing its job right. I'm still at a loss considering the parameters of the case how Mick Mulvaney can find any sane justification for turning up to work? As a White House official he must surely understand ethical restrictions and vetting processes applied to new appointees, these processes have a reason, they're not for show…? And then there's existing laws, but no one seems to care about those these days!

  34. Dino Weber says:

    A fair deal is a deal no one party likes, if some people hate the CFPB it must be doing its job right. I'm still at a loss considering the parameters of the case how Mick Mulvaney can find any sane justification for turning up to work? As a White House official he must surely understand ethical restrictions and vetting processes applied to new appointees, these processes have a reason, they're not for show…? And then there's existing laws, but no one seems to care about those these days!

  35. Emily Krahn says:

    Thank you Amy, Juan and all for your hard work and great reporting.

  36. Marianne Powell says:

    We need to get trumps sewer out of Washington! Now!

  37. TheJagjr4450 says:

    She probably does not have standing to sue… she is suing at personal cost and in her personal capacity not in the capacity of the department as the department council has stated she is not the acting director.

  38. 4Jesus 4Eternity says:

    CFPD has hired foreigners for handling complaints that take on papers with minimal followup. Many of these jobs should be US jobs because of holding confidential information and now we see why there is so much fraud in the US. CFPD needs reform and not removed.

  39. richard calhoun says:

    The CFPB is a total failure no matter who runs this bloody abortion division; tell me (factually) of just one government agency that is successfully functionally for the good of the public (opinions do not count). I am holding more than 18 years of documents proving government consumer agencies are a total scam on the American consumer…debate me with your opinion and I will whip your tiny brain with facts; when everyone runs out of opinions and lies, there will be no foundation supporting America's government. "Based on facts of my personal experiences" with government, I have "0" confidence in the system, and "0" support for anyone who works for the government. Congress/Clinton/Bush/Obama/ Trump; all Bozos. Under Zionist Jews, America is dying just like you Christians' Jesus! Comical to me how you Christians are under the Jews spell knowing they had your Jesus crucified. You peoples willingness to salute a compromised flag, embrace an alien corrupt government, and play their game and claim it is your patriotic duty, truly amazes me. Anyone supporting government or working for the government is the problem and not the solution.

  40. 4Jesus 4Eternity says:

    What a joke…There are plenty of immigrants with visa working here in the US….38% of taking jobs from US workers. The only jobs overseas are manufacturing jobs that we can't support unless we continue to allow foreigners to open companies here.

  41. Bad Man Skill says:

    1930's Germany here we come!

  42. Moussaoui Ahmed says:

    ……………………………

  43. Cheryl R Leigh says:

    We should be taking to the streets to protect this agency that has done so much to protect us!!! #cfpb #consumerprotectionfrombanks #doddfrank #elizabethwarren2020

  44. Cheryl R Leigh says:

    1. Listen to ‘The Daily’: What’s Going On at the Consumer Financial Protection
    Bureau? https://nyti.ms/2idYuxw
    2. Battle for Control of Consumer Agency Heads to Court https://nyti.ms/2i8exN5
    3. 2 Bosses Show Up to Lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau https://nyti.ms/2k63Awp

  45. Truth Matters says:

    Audit Audit Audit
    Suppressing Americans for too long
    Audit Mulveney Trillions missing and slush finds
    Democrats are true criminals
    Wrong when Director is absent that was a lie

  46. Myballsitchsomethingfierce says:

    Good, anything to make the liberals squeal.

  47. Dick Fitswell says:

    When you work for the GOVT and you resign, you dont get to appoint who you WANT to be in charge. Especially when you resign in disgrace. The President gets to make the decision. He is in charge. Judging by how amazing the economy and unemployment is, Id go ahead and let him pick whoever he wants. Lisa Donner is a creep. Especially making that smacking sound

  48. Nancy Southern Belle says:

    Why should ANY gov agency be under the control of a few ppl? Too much conflict, and potential abuse of power, for only a few ppl. Judge Kelly just ruled that this agency falls in the purview of any other Gov ADM agency. The ruling came in an hour ago. A great call for our Constitution

  49. Nancy Southern Belle says:

    Why would any journalistic agency, called "Democracy Now", remove my comment, only bc the moderator disagrees? Don't they agree with individual right to "Free Speech"? WOW, utterly amazing

  50. Cindy Ford says:

    Welcome to moscow

  51. Afua Tandoh says:

    Trump is evil. This agency is very good . They have helped me before, they are trustworthy. This the only protection we the consumers have. Why take it away from consumers? God this administration is evil.

  52. Dantana G says:

    It turns out that Trump has the authority and the courts have ruled in his favor no matter how much you losers complain.

  53. MrGillymac says:

    its because warren is a FRAUD SHE used the money to fund antifa and the rest of these wacko groups — SHE is going to end up in jail _ its unconstitutional for Congress to start a program that has ZERO OVERSITE!!! HEY GOODMAN I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG AND THE UNITED STATEZ OF AMERICAN AND TO THE WHAT .?????? NOT DEMOCRACY YOU TRADER !#!!!#!!

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