Sessions Goes to Bat for a Trump Administration Filled with Wall Street Insiders and Goldman Sachs Alumni
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following news that the Justice Department has filed a brief in a major court case wrongly arguing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) structure is unconstitutional, Allied Progress released the following backgrounder and a statement from its executive director, Karl Frisch:
“Trump’s Justice Department is dead wrong when it comes to the constitutionality of the Consumer Bureau. There are a number of government agencies similarly structured–even some were created by Republicans. What this is really about is a White House filled with Wall Street special interests and Goldman Sachs alumni who are sick and tired of seeing their friends held accountable when they violate the rights of hard-working American consumers.”
“Millions of Americans have felt the impact of Richard Cordray’s work as the Consumer Bureau’s director. Under his leadership the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion to 27 million Americans who have been wronged by credit card companies, payday lenders, debt collectors, and other predatory financial industries. Director Cordray’s work is a cause for celebration, not dismissal.”
“To be clear, if President Trump moves to dismiss CFPB director Richard Cordray without cause, he will be overstepping his constitutional authority. Contrary to what Trump may think, this is not his reality show. He can’t just run around firing people.”
To speak to Karl Frisch about the Department of Justice’s attack on American consumers, please contact Mike Czin at 202-286-7654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background on Cordray and the Consumer Bureau
Trump Can’t Just Fire Cordray
- Like other financial regulators, the CFPB director serves for a fixed term. On July 16, 2013, the Senate voted 66-34 across party lines to confirm Richard Cordray to a five-year term as director of the CFPB. [Henry B. Hogue, Marc Labonte, and Baird Webel, “Independence of Federal Financial Regulators,” Congressional Research Service February 24, 2014; S. Senate Roll Call Vote on Nomination Number PN157, Confirmation of Richard Cordray, of Ohio, to be Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, July 16, 2013, U.S. Senate.gov website; “PN157—Richard Cordray—Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Confirmation,” July 16, 2013, Congress.gov website; and Establishment of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 12 USC § 5491 (2010).]
- The law permits the president to remove the director only “for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” [Establishment of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 12 USC § 5491 (2010).]
- While a panel of three federal judges recently ruled 2-1 that the president can fire the director of the CFPB without cause, that decision broke with eight decades of precedent and has since been vacated. It will now be heard by the full D.C. Circuit. [PHH, et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, No. 15-1177, Document No. 1646917 (U.S.C.A. Oct. 11, 2016); Brian Simmonds Marshall, “An Easy Case: Why a Federal Appeals Court Should Reject a Constitutional Challenge to the CFPB,” American Constitution Society Blog, April 11, 2016; U.S. Court of Appeals, April 12, 2016.]
There Is Not Cause to Dismiss Cordray
- Under Director Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB has provided nearly $12 billion in relief to 27 million Americans in its first five years. Under his leadership the CFPB has also successfully resolved more than ninety enforcement cases against both big banks and small-time fraudsters. [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “Factsheet: Enforcing Federal Consumer Protection Laws,” July 13, 2016; Ben White and Andrew Hanna, “The Permanent Crisis in Banking,” Politico, October 6, 2016.]
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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).