As politicians battle over who is now in charge at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, some people might wonder what the agency is, what it does and why it’s at the center of debate in Washington.
The consumer watchdog and its former Director Richard Cordray have been points of partisan contention for years. Generally speaking, Democrats support the agency and its goal of protecting consumers, while Republicans say its structure, funding and lack of oversight have resulted in government overreach.
This latest disagreement centers on who has the legal authority to lead the CFPB. On Friday, Cordray announced he was stepping down that day, and appointed a deputy director to act as interim head: Leandra English, previously his chief of staff. But shortly after Cordray’s statement, President Donald Trump announced that his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, will serve in the acting CFPB director role.