Liz Warren Calls Out Trump For Massive Abuse of Power Following Recent Agency Take Over
A dispute over who should head a federal consumer protection office has pitted President Trump against Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s determined to fight for the office she helped create in the wake of the financial crisis.
“I fought my heart out to build this little agency — and I’ll be damned if we let Donald Trump, Steve Mnuchin, and Mick Mulvaney destroy it without a fight,” Warren said in a fundraising email yesterday, supporting the outgoing director’s choice for an interim leader.
Trump, who called the bureau a “total disaster” under Cordray, named White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney to take lead of the office.
“Financial institutions have been devastated and unable to properly serve the public,” Trump said. “We will bring it back to life!”
Warren and other Democrats have pointed to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that says Cordray’s deputy director Leandra English is elevated to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau upon Cordray’s resignation.
But the Trump administration is pressing to have Mulvaney temporarily lead the finance watchdog, citing a 1998 law.
Trump administration officials acknowledged that the two laws clash, but said that in this case the president’s authority takes precedence. Officials said Mulvaney was expected to start working tomorrow and that English was expected to also show up — but as deputy director.
Mulvaney has long criticized the bureau, calling it a “sick, sad joke” and admitting he’d like to “get rid of it.”
In her email yesterday, Warren said Trump doesn’t have the “power to do this” and argued the “law is clear” that English should be the interim director until the Senate approved a new director for the bureau.
“We knew that Donald Trump was likely going to use Rich Cordray’s departure as his chance to dismantle the CFPB,” Warren said. “Earlier this year, he promised corporate CEOs that he would deliver ‘a major elimination of the horrendous Dodd-Frank regulations.’ And now, he could do it.”
Warren said she’d fight Mulvaney’s appointment like she opposed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, EPA director Scott Pruitt and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
The agency has been tangled in partisan politics since its creation, with the two competing appointees a reflection of that.
English is a trusted lieutenant of Cordray’s who has helped investigate and punish financial companies in ways that many Republicans, Mulvaney in particular, think go too far.