As Barney Frank makes clear in this CNN interview with Chris Cuomo this morning, the Dodd-Frank legislation that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a five-year term and a mandatory successor for the director specifically to protect the bureau against political interference.
He says there was a vacancy law already on the books, and they wrote “a different law later.”
“Ordinarily, the later law that is more specifically tailored to the particular situation covers it,” Frank said.
He went on to explain that “every bank-regulating agency has some autonomy. It is sensitive politically. You want to keep political interference to a minimum. So the control of the currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are run by people who have terms and aren’t subject to association.
“In this case, because we knew that fighting large financial interests on behalf of interesting which will put you in the way every day. Here’s the key point here. We gave a five-year term, removable by the president only for cause. So the reason we added this piece is this, if you want to have a five-year term, you want to say, well, what happens to the guy who gets hit by a car? You don’t want the autonomy to end. It was to let the five-year term continue for five years, even if there was a problem with the head of the agency physically or some other way,” Frank said.
He also noted that critics of the bureau have never given a single example of the overreach they claim because they’d be in the position of defending things like bank overcharges.
Teabagger Mick Mulvaney, who wants to dismantle the CFPB, was sent by Trump to fill the acting director position, but Leandra English, Richard Cordray’s deputy and the presumed acting director, has filed for an injunction against him filling the slot.
Mulvaney showed up this morning with doughnuts.