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Trump names White House budget director Mulvaney acting head of consumer agency

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U.S. President Donald Trump has designated White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed, the White House said on Friday.

The action came hours after Richard Cordray submitted his formal resignation and named a deputy director as his replacement, setting the stage for a political and legal battle over the regulator’s leadership.

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“The president looks forward to seeing Director Mulvaney take a common sense approach to leading the CFPB’s dedicated staff, an approach that will empower consumers to make their own financial decisions and facilitate investment in our communities,” the White House said in its statement.

Democratic lawmakers are eager to preserve the regulator for as long as possible while Republicans want to put in place new leadership to chart a drastically different course.

The six-year-old bureau has policed consumer financial markets, drafting aggressive rules curbing products like payday loans, while issuing multimillion dollar fines against large financial institutions like Wells Fargo.

But Republicans have consistently complained the agency is too powerful and lacks oversight from Congress on its operations, and they are eager to take control.

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Mulvaney, who has criticized the bureau in the past, said, “I look forward to working with the expert personnel within the agency to identify how the bureau can transition to be more effective in its mission, while becoming more accountable to the taxpayer.”

The succession plan has never been tested, with Cordray as its first and only full-time director.

Cordray had previously announced plans to resign by the end of November. In a statement to staff, he said that Leandra English, the CFPB’s chief of staff, had been named deputy director and would take over as acting director of the agency upon his exit.

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However, the White House had already said it planned to name its own interim leadership at the regulator.

Trump has pushed to ease regulations on businesses, including the financial sector, a stance seemingly at odds with Cordray’s more aggressive regulatory approach.

Earlier this month, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said that the administration “will announce an acting director and the president’s choice to replace Mr Cordray at the appropriate time.”

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There are competing theories in Washington as to who can name Cordray’s replacement. Democrats point to language in the Dodd-Frank law that created the CFPB, stipulating the deputy director replaces the director when he or she leaves.

But others say a separate law governing federal vacancies gives Trump power to name someone elsewhere in the administration to that role temporarily, while the White House identifies a full-time nominee who would be confirmed by the Senate.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Lisa Shumaker)

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Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

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Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

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The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

Watch:

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Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

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