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Consumer Advocates’ Amicus Brief Argues Crucial Public Interest in Independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Melissa Stegman

Agency’s Independence Is Necessary to Its Mission, Groups Tell Court Considering Appeal in English v. Trump and Mulvaney

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) independence from external political influence is crucial to the agency’s mission of protecting consumers, ten groups told a court today in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The groups are the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Consumer Law Center, National Consumers League, National Fair Housing Alliance, Public Citizen, Tzedek DC, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

In the case, CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English is appealing the trial court’s denial of a preliminary injunction allowing her to serve as acting director of the CFPB while litigation proceeds over the lawful acting director – herself or Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney is Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, which “serves the President of the United States in overseeing the implementation of his vision across the Executive Branch” – thus constituting a clear violation of the CFPB’s independence. In their amicus filing, the groups explain that the public interest supports English serving as the acting director while the court further considers the legal issues.

"Every week, we’re seeing Mick Mulvaney chip away at the integrity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from undermining the agency’s rule on payday lending to stripping the Fair Lending Office of its enforcement powers. The CFPB is supposed to be insulated from political interference and influence, which makes Mulvaney, who takes orders from the White House, totally unfit to head the consumer bureau. We need to preserve the independence of this important institution that is supposed to serve the public interest, not the interest of predatory lenders," said Melissa Stegman, Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Matthew Kravitz at matthew.kravitz@responsiblelending.org or 202-349-1859.