A dramatic legal fight over leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau all but ended on Tuesday after a federal judge ruled that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is the legal interim head of the agency.
District Judge Timothy J. Kelly blocked
CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English's request for a temporary restraining order, rejecting former CFPB Richard Cordray's pick to lead the agency and upholding President Trump's interim choice.
Though English is expected to appeal, her chances of success are slim, according to most legal experts.
While the battle is nearly finished, however, the impact may reverberate for some time to come.
Democrats obviously hoped to keep control of the agency for a few months longer. That now appears highly unlikely with Mulvaney in control for the foreseeable future. Moreover, their ability to stop President Trump from choosing a permanent successor is virtually nonexistent since Senate rules were changed to prevent filibusters of nominees.
Republicans, meanwhile, could not have hoped for a clearer way to paint the CFPB as out of control. They've long argued that Cordray could act as he pleased, a position that appeared confirmed when he selected his own temporary successor who subsequently sued the president
of the United States.
"If you were to dream up what fact pattern would fit [House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling's] insane 'unaccountable bureaucracy' meme, I’m pretty sure this would be it," said one former CFPB employee who is sympathetic to the agency but critical of the past week's events.
To many, the entire episode felt like a stunt, one that reflected badly on those trying to implement it and helping longtime critics of the agency in the process.
Following are the winners and losers of the so-called #CFPBDebacle: