Sen Warren Battling With Trump Over Holiday Weekend Appointment

The Thanksgiving weekend went a little sideways when President Donald Trump responded to the abrupt departure of Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Things got especially heated when Cordray appointed bureau Chief of Staff Leandra English as his deputy just hours before leaving his position — and Trump simultaneously appointed White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the agency’s temporary head.

Trump tweeted about the shakeup:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) went on a tear, saying that according to the Dodd-Frank Act, Cordray’s appointment should stand:

The White House responded, citing the Federal Vacancies Act — which allows the president to appoint as an acting director anyone who has already been confirmed by the Senate to head another agency. Mulvaney was confirmed to head the Office of Management and Budget.

According to Politico, a strict reading of the Federal Vacancies Act does allow for the president to appoint an acting head of an agency, even if there is a natural successor in place:

Still, the Vacancies Act says that an opening may also be filled if another law “expressly … designates an officer or employee to perform the functions and duties of a specified office temporarily in an acting capacity.”

What neither law clearly specifies, however, is whether one supersedes the other. The answer to that question may only be found in a courtroom.




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