When Leandra English walked in to work as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) earlier this week, there was one little problem: President Donald Trump had already appointed his Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to head the Obama-era regulatory agency. There were two bosses, but only one had the constitutional authority to pick up the reins of power, and it wasn’t English.
It’s hard to blame English for assuming her role. After all, the CFPB was populated with strong supporters of the biggest names in the Democrat Party. So when her outgoing boss, Richard Cordray, handed over the keys, English probably didn’t give a moment’s thought to the separation of powers or that pesky old Constitution.
Moreover, she had the support of none other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who incorrectly tweeted that English is the “rightful Acting Director.” Well, before President Trump stepped in, the CFPB could do just about anything its director wanted — such as appointing his own replacement.
Let’s take a moment to see what the CFPB is all about, and why a seemingly simple appointment is such a big deal.