If Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray’s recess appointment is overturned, or he is removed from the post, it could call into question the actions of the agency under his leadership, said Mary Dunn, CUNA senior vice president and deputy general counsel.
Cordray’s controversial appointment, made by President Obama during the U.S. Senate’s winter break, faced a new challenge this week, when the organization Judicial Watch published documents it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that show Cordray himself acknowledged that his appointment could be “invalidated by a court.”
The bureau director’s appointment was for two years, which means he could serve through December of next year, Dunn said.
“But, a recess appointment technically has to be made when the Senate is out for 15 consecutive days, and the Senate was intermittently coming into session at the time of his appointment, many said to block Cordray’s appointment,” she said.
The Justice Department and others have backed the president’s decision to go ahead with the appointment, Dunn added. However, if Cordray were removed, the CFPB’s actions, particularly those that would address concerns with institutions that were not previously regulated, such as payday lenders, could be questioned.
“Those that oppose the agency would use the overturning of his appointment to challenge anything they did not agree with,” the CUNA attorney said.
However, Dunn added it is far from clear that Cordray’s appointment would be overturned, and that the longer he stays in office, the more difficult it would become to challenge the appointment.