Attorney General Madigan Files Brief to Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Independence

Attorney General Lisa Madigan
IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan (Source: illinoisattorneygeneral.gov)

Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—February 8, 2018

By: Rosemary Piser

Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with the Attorneys General of 16 other states in filing an amicus brief in the case English v. Trump. The lawsuit challenges President Trump’s decision to appoint Mick Mulvaney as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The amicus brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, argues that a lower court erred in allowing Mulvaney to become the agency’s acting director. The brief asserts that maintaining the CFPB’s independence is crucial to protecting Americans, and that Congress ensured the agency’s independence by creating a specific plan for succession.

Under the act that created the CFPB, its deputy director, Leandra English, should have become the acting director after Richard Cordray stepped down last year.Trump, citing an earlier federal law, claimed he had authority to appoint an acting director and selected Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mulvaney has been an outspoken critic of the CFPB and, while serving in Congress, voted to weaken the agency’s authority and questioned its existence at all.

Since his appointment, Mulvaney has:

  • denounced the agency,
  • sought to roll back important consumer protection laws, including rules to protect consumers from predatory payday lenders, and
  • sought no funding for the CFPB in the federal budget.

Leandra English later filed a lawsuit to challenge Mulvaney’s appointment.

Attorney General Madigan said, “The CFPB was created in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis to make sure consumers have a federal agency fighting for them. I will not sit by and watch the CFPB be dismantled by an administration that cares more about Wall Street profits than the financial futures of everyday Americans.”

The brief states, in part:

“The defendants’ approach demolishes a critical part of Congress’s carefully constructed statutory scheme for the CFPB’s independence. The independence of an agency means little without independent leadership.”

Since the CFPB began operations in 2011, the agency has handled more than a million consumer complaints and returned nearly $12 billion to the pockets of more than 29 million consumers wronged by financial institutions – five times more than it costs taxpayers to fund the agency.

Joining Madigan in filing today’s brief were the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Source: www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

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