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Word of the Day: Acting Director

by Countable | 11.27.17


Why this word? Why today?

On Monday, two acting directors showed up at the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau to…actively direct.

Last Friday, Richard Cordray stepped down as the director of the CFPB and appointed his chief of staff, Leandra English, to temporarily replace him.

A few hours later, President Donald Trump named Mick Mulvaney – the director of the Office of Management and Budget – to the job.

Now, both are pointing to legislative fine print to explain why they’re the legal heir to this regulatory throne.

Here it is explained via a Simpsons reference:

The CFPB was established in 2010, in response to the Great Recession. Created under Dodd-Frank financial reform , the CFPB is an independent watchdog group meant to protect consumers from illegal actions by financial companies like banks, credit cards, payday lenders, mortgage lenders, and debt collectors.

The Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice issued a memo on November 25, stating that President Donald Trump had the authority to name a new acting director at the CFPB under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

In response, English filed a lawsuit late Sunday seeking a halt to Mulvaney’s appointment, claiming that she’s the de-facto leader. English argues that Dodd-Frank explicitly states that the director of the CFPB can appoint a deputy director — and that this person runs the agency until the Senate votes to confirm a new CFPB director.

Both Mulvaney and English showed up for work Monday. English sent out an email to the agency’s 1,600 employees, writing, "I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving in mind, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude to all of you for your service." She ended the email with “Acting Director.”

Mulvaney also sent out an email. But perhaps because he once called the agency a "sick, sad joke" and said he wished it didn’t exist, Mulvaney also brought donuts:

—Josh Herman

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