Trump Wins Major Victory Over Dems But Big Businesses Are The Real Winner

Hot off a legal victory handing him control of the government’s top consumer watchdog, President Donald Trump is moving rapidly to nominate a permanent director to rein in the agency’s reach.

A U.S. District Court judge in Washington on Tuesday said the administration had the right to install White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Judge Timothy Kelly denied a request by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English, who also claims to hold the top job, to block Mulvaney from taking the post. Her lawyer said the case isn’t over.

For now, the ruling puts a halt to a chaotic series of events set in motion Friday, when former CFPB Director Richard Cordray abruptly resigned. It also moves the White House a step closer to curbing the power of the independent agency, which since its inception has bedeviled banks, credit card issuers and other financial companies. In the process it has cheered wronged consumers, collecting $12 billion in penalties and recoveries on their behalf.

With the legal skirmish quieted, Trump is close to placing a permanent leader at the agency, a senior administration official told POLITICO. The president’s short list of candidates includes House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki, and former acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika. All are fierce critics of the bureau, which they have accused of overstepping its authority and running roughshod over industry.

Other rumored candidates, including Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), former Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas, Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), lawyer Jerry Buckley of Buckley Sandler, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, and Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, are not in the running, the official said.