Attorney General Becerra: Trump Administration Must Respect CFPB’s Independence

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra once again called on the Trump Administration to respect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) independence. Joining a coalition of 17 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief, Attorney General Becerra underscored that, under law, the president may only appoint a new Director for the CFPB by going through the normal Senate confirmation process. That process would help ensure that the president appoints a director who is committed to protecting consumers from fraud, abuse, and unfair business practices, true to the CFPB’s mission. The CFPB has returned over $12 billion to American consumers since being created in the wake of the financial crisis. It was carefully crafted by Congress to be an independent agency.

“President Trump is attempting a hostile and illegal takeover of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has installed as acting director a man who has consistently sided with Wall Street over Main Street, and hardworking Americans have been suffering as a result,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In just three months in office, Mick Mulvaney has rolled back important consumer protections. Enough is enough. We are today making clear that the Trump Administration is not above the law and that the acting director of the CFPB should be Leandra English. The California Department of Justice has proudly worked with and defended this critical agency. We will continue doing so.”

On November 24, 2017, CFPB Director Richard Cordray stepped down and Deputy Director Leandra English became acting director, pursuant to the law governing the CFPB. That same day, President Donald Trump moved to politically appoint a known antagonist of the CFPB, the current Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, as the acting CFPB Director. Among some of the most egregious actions Mick Mulvaney has taken to undermine the CFPB are:

  • January 18, 2018: Mulvaney drops lawsuit against payday lenders. 
  • January 19, 2018: Mulvaney requests a total of $0 for the CFPB’s second-quarter budget.
  • January 25, 2018: Mulvaney delays rule that would have provided protections for consumers who use prepaid cards.
  • February 5, 2018: Mulvaney reportedly ends CFPB’s investigation of Equifax. In September, Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, announced that it had suffered a massive data breach, which affected 145 million Americans and over 15 million Californians. 

In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Becerra joined the Attorneys General of Washington D.C, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Deputy Director Leandra English’s motion for a preliminary injunction and left Mick Mulvaney in charge of the CFPB. Deputy Director Leandra English appealed that decision, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an expedited hearing.

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at

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