A spokesman for President-Elect Donald Trump said yesterday that Trump has interviewed former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) for the post of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director — indicating that Trump may be considering removing current director Richard Cordray from his post before his term expires in 2018. According to the Huffington Post, Trump met on Wednesday with Neugebauer, and no other candidates are currently under consideration.
Neugebauer recently retired from Congress after seven terms. He served on the House Financial Services Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit in the 114th Congress.
Trump would be able to take this action under the federal appellate ruling in PHH Mortgage v. CFPB, which invalidated the bureau’s leadership structure. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the bureau director may be removed not at the president’s discretion but only “for cause,” a distinction that departs from historical practice and risks arbitrary decision-making and abuse of power, according to the court’s decision making the director removable at the president’s discretion.
The possibility of Trump requesting Cordray’s early resignation has triggered volleys between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill over the decision. Under the ruling, the president now has the power to remove the CFPB director, unless a higher court rules otherwise. American Bankers Association staff will continue to monitor the PHH case as the appeal proceeds.