A coalition of 17 Democratic state attorneys general led by New York’s Eric T. Schneiderman and including his Connecticut counterpart George Jepsen have sent a letter to President Trump criticizing his appointment of Mick Mulvaney as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Mulvaney, who is also director of the Office of Management and Budget, was named to the CFPB post after Richard Cordray, an Obama-era appointee, resigned as director on Nov. 24. Cordray named his own interim successor, Deputy Director Leandra English, as per the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but the president cited the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 in naming Mulvaney. A U.S. District Court judge refused to block the president’s action after English filed a lawsuit seeking to void the Mulvaney appointment and assume the directorship. President Trump has not named a permanent CFPB director to replace Cordray, who is now seeking the Democratic nomination to become governor of Ohio.
In their letter, the state attorneys general cited earlier comments by Mulvaney that the CFPB was “a joke” and it symbolized “an awful example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong.” In their view, the attorneys general stated Mulvaney’s comments offered proof that he was the wrong person for this job.
“Such statements about an agency that has helped millions of American consumers and achieved fundamental reform in a number of critically important areas of American commerce are categorically false, and should disqualify Mr. Mulvaney from leading the agency, even on an acting basis,” the attorneys general wrote. “As the top state law enforcement officials charged with investigating consumer complaints of fraudulent, deceptive and abusive financial practices in our respective states, we know from first-hand experience that the need for strong consumer financial protection is undiminished in the years since the financial crisis.”
Schneiderman added that even while Mulvaney serves on an interim basis, the states will continue to pursue the mission goals of this federal agency. “The CFPB has been a critical partner in protecting American consumers and holding fraudsters accountable,” he said. “It deserves a leader who actually believes in its mission. However, attorneys general won’t hesitate to protect those we serve – with or without a partner in Washington.”
In addition to New York and Connecticut, the letter was signed by attorneys general from California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.