CFPB: The left's latest battlefield
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has become the latest battlefield in the left's war on President Trump. Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, quit suddenly on November 24 and named his former chief of staff, Leandra English, to be acting director. This move would have kept the bureau in leftist hands until a successor, named by President Trump, could be confirmed. Disregarding Cordray's partisan action, President Trump named Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, acting director of the CFPB. (Apparently, Mulvaney would wear two hats for the time being.) Mulvaney is on record as being critical of the CFPB.
Sen. Warren was quoted in the New York Times, November 28, as saying that the bureau "'was built to be as far away from partisan politics as humanly possible – including exactly what Donald Trump is doing now."
And what is President Trump "doing now"? Arguably, he has moved, pursuant to federal law, to name the acting director of a federal agency until such time as the head of the agency will be nominated, with Senate confirmation to follow.
According to the account in the Times, Ms. English went to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democratic leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Warren, hardly an indication of nonpartisan intent. As of this writing, both Ms. English and Mr. Mulvaney claim to be acting director of the CFPB, with the matter now the subject of litigation brought by Ms. English, before Judge Timothy J. Kelly in federal court in the District of Columbia. Interestingly, Mary McLeod, the CFPB's general counsel, regards the Mulvaney appointment as legitimate. (Judge Kelly is a Trump appointee. This does not necessarily mean Ms. English will not prevail, but perhaps we can be thankful that the matter is not heard before the Ninth Circuit, a judicial bastion of "The Resistance.")
It is to be expected that the left will point to the Mulvaney appointment as an authoritarian assault on democracy. To such leftist deviousness, this editorial observation in the Wall Street Journal, November 26, is worth noting: "Democrats created an executive-branch agency [the CFPB] insulated from Congressional appropriations and presidential control, and now they claim to be able to run it like a branch of government unto itself with a self-sustaining directorship." The editorial describes this view as "a perversion of constitutional government." Certainly, it is a perversion of representative government accountable to the people. As WSJ columnist William McGurn suggests in his November 28 column, the CFPB tug-of-war points out "to the American people what happens when federal power is divorced from democratic accountability."
But isn't this what The Resistance to the Trump presidency is all about – rejecting the election of the president of the United States by the processes set forth in the Constitution?