Consumer Bureau Lifts Freeze on Payments to Crime Victims

Marco Green
December 7, 2017

It's the latest sign of turmoil at the agency, which is locked in a leadership battle after its outgoing director and President Donald Trump both appointed successors to lead the independent agency.

The Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union, which is suing Trump and Mulvaney, says it doesn't know who's running the bureau - and wants a NY federal judge to figure out who's in charge.

The group calls itself "Dumbledore's Army", a reference to a fictional secret cabal of young wizards in the children's fantasy series "Harry Potter", The New York Times reported.

As evidence of this point the credit union quotes Mulvaney's description of the CFPB as "a sad, sick joke", and his 2015 testimony before the House of Representatives. Mr. Mulvaney said he had removed the hold on Wednesday - the day the agency was scheduled to make one of its twice-annual allocation decisions - and approved the dispersal of payments.

Mulvaney has already moved to rapidly change the agency, which he promised upon taking the reins.

During a news briefing at the CFPB on Monday, Mulvaney told reporters he would "absolutely not" consider firing English and that he would like her to continue to serve as deputy director but had not had any direct contact with her.

Directing CFPB staff to examine all investigations and litigation. Trump then announced Mulvaney as acting director. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who championed the creation of the agency, and her allies cited language in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act as proof that Cordray, nominated by President Barack Obama, was in the right, while the Trump administration and its allies said the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act usurps Dodd-Frank.

Mulvaney this week brought in Republican congressional lawyer Brian Johnson as a senior adviser and plans to quickly bring on board more political hires to help him review the bureau's existing and pending regulations, the budget chief said.

The Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.

Trump "wants to move expeditiously" on naming a permanent replacement but the Senate confirmation process is likely to take some time and Mulvaney expects to be in the interim role for up to seven months, he said in an interview Reuters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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