While most federal agencies will soon see a change in leadership and direction after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is supposed to be shielded from such sudden changes. A recent court decision put that protection — and the future of the CFPB itself — in question, but today a group of 21 federal lawmakers, along with a coalition of consumer advocates and civil rights groups, asked the court to keep the CFPB’s structure intact.
A quick round of catch-up for those coming in late: The CFPB has only one director — currently Richard Cordray, who still has a few years left on his term — and under the law that created the Bureau, the CFPB Director can only be removed from office by the President “for cause,” meaning the Director would need to screw up really badly.
In most cases where a federal agency has only one director, the President has the authority to remove that director at will. On the other side of the coin are the agencies with multiple commissioners (and usually a chairperson) who can’t be easily removed by the President, but where no single commissioner’s vote counts more than the others.