The 2010 law does very little to constrain regulatory power, explaining why Republicans pushed for reforms during the Obama presidency and why, under President Trump, Democrats are so vigorously opposing agency management changes.
The ill will between Democrats and Republicans in the controversy over appointing an acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief adds a new wrinkle to bipartisan efforts to pass regulatory relief.
The former heads of the House and Senate banking committees argued Thursday that the Dodd-Frank Act clearly intended to allow the CFPB's deputy director to serve as acting director after the full-time head of the agency departed.
Richard Cordray took a big gamble in his final act as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, attempting to appoint his own interim successor. He lost Tuesday, but he was far from the only one.
District Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled Tuesday that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was the legal interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, denying a request by Deputy Director Leandra English to block the appointment.
Employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are privately questioning why outgoing director Richard Cordray abruptly tapped a 34-year-old chief of staff with no enforcement, supervisory or legal experience to head the embattled agency after he resigned.
In his nomination hearing, Jerome Powell was quick to assure Republican senators of his regulatory relief credentials. But Democrats still fear that he and other Trump appointees might upend the Dodd-Frank Act.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said he would "fix" the CFPB by ensuring it protected consumers without cutting off access to financial services. His comments came as a federal judge declined to rule yet on the legality of Mulvaney's appointment.