Tom Cotton: Trump Should Fire Leandra English, Anyone Who Disobeys Mulvaney

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acting director — who was appointed by outgoing CFPB head Richard Cordray — Sunday evening is “just the latest” example of “lawless” behavior by the agency. Cotton also suggested anyone who disobeys President Trump’s pick for the post, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, should be fired.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a rogue, unconstitutional agency,” Cotton said in a statement posted on Twitter Monday morning. “Leandra English … doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, as her own general counsel has conceded and the Department of Justice has concluded. The President should fire her immediately and anyone who disobeys Director Mulvaney’s orders should be fired summarily. The Constitution and the law must prevail against the supposed resistance.”

English, who was appointed as acting director of the agency by Cordray on his way out, filed a lawsuit Sunday night to keep Mulvaney from leading the bureau. In her lawsuit, English cited the Dodd-Frank Act as rationale for what allows her to hold the post until a new director is confirmed by the Senate.

Trump named Mulvaney acting director upon Cordray’s resignation. The White House and the Department of Justice said Trump’s authority surpasses that of the previous director — who was appointed by former President Barack Obama — citing the Vacancies Reform Act.

The agency’s legal counsel has even sided with the White House, saying in a memo obtained by Politico that “the President possesses the authority to designate an acting director for the bureau” and advising all staff to follow Mulvaney’s direction. Both English and Mulvaney were on site Monday, both claiming to run the agency, CNN reported.

Republicans have been vocal critics of the department ever since it was created as a watchdog group for consumers after the 2008 financial crisis. In his previous job as a member of Congress, Mulvaney called the agency a “joke” and is expected to overhaul much of what it has done.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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