Open thread for night owls: Consumer Finance Protection Bureau will have bosses Monday morning

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Hannah Levintova at Mother Jones writes—While You Were Shopping, Trump Set Off a Civil War at a Consumer Protection Agency:

Washington remains fairly quiet over the Thanksgiving weekend, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—the financial watchdog agency championed by Wall Street critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and loathed by some Republicans—is in the middle of a major power struggle triggered by President Trump.

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The back-and-forth began last week, when Richard Cordray, the Obama-appointed director of the CFPB, announced that he would be stepping down from his post after six years in charge of the agency that was  established after the financial crisis. On Friday, Cordray did just that, leaving his post abruptly a week earlier than planned, but not before appointing Leandra English, his chief of staff, as the agency’s deputy director. This move triggered a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that established the CFPB, which makes the agency’s deputy director the interim head in the event the director leaves.

But on Friday, the Trump administration appointed its own acting director anyway. The administration announced that one of the CFPB’s most vocal foes, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, will serve as the acting head of the CFPB until a permanent replacement is found and confirmed by the Senate. (When Mulvaney’s name was first floated, Warren described the possibility in a tweet as a “giant middle finger to consumers.”) Mulvaney will also keep his job as White House budget director.

“The President looks forward to seeing Director Mulvaney take a common sense approach to leading the CFPB’s dedicated staff,” the White House said in a press release, “an approach that will empower consumers to make their own financial decisions.”

When asked about the law of succession established by Dodd Frank, administration officials speaking to the Los Angeles Times anonymously on Saturday said that the White House believes Mulvaney’s CFPB appointment is legally permissible under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. They also said the appointment was cleared by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and that they hoped to avoid a court battle. In the meantime, though, it’s unclear who is actually in charge at the CFPB, and both Mulvaney and English are expected to report for work at the CFPB on Monday morning. […]

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On this date at Daily Kos in 2012There was no ‘war on coal,’ but there should be. Just not on the backs of miners. Delay is denial:

Coal is a disaster for the climate and, although it provides good-paying jobs in areas where there often are no others, it also is a disaster for coal communities and miners themselves. For those reasons, with his last election campaign a success, President Obama should push hard to get regulations in place that work to force an end to most coal mining—a ban on mountain-top removal, regulations that control CO2 emissions of existing plants, more funding for enforcing health and safety regulations while coal is still mined, installing every obstacle the executive branch can come up in the path of soaring U.S. coal exports and negotiating a no-exports pact with the world’s other leading exporters (Russia, Australia, Indonesia). He should also find various innovative means to support and invest in the future of coal miners and other coal-company employees who will lose their livelihood as coal production is cut back.

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