Consumer chief resigning, expected to run for Ohio gov
WASHINGTON — Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and an appointee of former President Barack Obama, has announced his resignation on Nov. 15.
Cordray plans to resign his office by the end of November. He is expected to return to his home state of Ohio to run for governor. The Democrat has been a leading critic of President Donald Trump within the government.
He was the first confirmed head of the independent agency established by Dodd-Frank, the landmark banking law created after the 2008 economic crisis that was designed to prevent future meltdowns.
Some Republicans had urged Trump to fire Cordray, who was critical of Republican efforts to undermine the Dodd-Frank law.
Trump reportedly discussed firing Cordray while signing bill to kill CFPB arbitration rule
Broached subject in Oval Office meeting with House Reps., others
November 3, 2017
President Donald Trump openly discussed firing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray with members of Congress this week while signing the resolution to repeal the CFPB’s controversial arbitration rule, CNBC’s Kayla Tausche reported Friday.
On Wednesday, Trump signed H.J. Res. 111, which overturned the arbitration rule, under a provision of the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn certain regulatory rules issued by federal agencies by within 60 days of the rules being announced.
The meeting was not open to the media, but the signing was attended by several top Congressional Republicans, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who recently announced that he would not be running for re-election.
During the session, Trump, Hensarling, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., and others discussed firing Cordray from his position at the CFPB, something that Hensarling has repeatedly called for in recent years.
According to Tausche’s report, Hensarling told Trump that he would “expend less energy undoing the CFPB’s actions” if he fired Cordray, which led to a lively, but-short-lived discussion about firing Cordray.
From Taushche’s piece:
In response, Trump went around the room and asked what he should do about Cordray, who has three months until the Feb. 1 filing deadline to run for governor of Ohio. According to three of the attendees, the view shared by Trump and the White House view is not to make Cordray a “martyr” – the assumption being that ceremoniously ousting him would afford him hero status among the left and fundraising momentum in a key swing state.
Hensarling and Rep. Sean Duffy were said to push doggedly for Cordray to be fired, suggesting they could write letters to expedite the process. But a White House official notes the views were not unanimous, with Rep. Patrick McHenry disagreeing with his Capitol Hill colleagues.
President Donald J. Trump signs H.J. Res.111-Disapproving of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Arbitration Agreement Rule | November 1, 2017
A post shared by The White House (@whitehouse) on Nov 2, 2017 at 8:15am PDT
According to Tausche’s report, the entrance of White House chief of staff John Kelly ended the discussion quickly.
Cordray’s fate at the CFPB and his future beyond that have been a topic of debate and discussion throughout Washington, D.C. and beyond ever since Trump won the election last year.
It was long believed that Cordray planned to run for governor of Ohio, with his rumored declaration of his intention to run coming and going several times in the last few months.
Cordray was rumored to announce a bid for Ohio governor after the bureau published its much-anticipated final payday lending rule, but the bureau announced the rule at the beginning of October, and Cordray has still yet to reveal if he is running for Ohio governor or not.
While Cordray has apparently not decided to leave on his terms yet, what’s standing in the way of Trump firing him is, as Tausche reported, the impact on the Ohio gubernatorial race.
Back in April, Cordray reportedly had dinner with White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, who supposedly gave Cordray an “ultimatum” of either leave on his terms or be fired.
Cohn apparently left that meal convinced that Cordray planned to run in Ohio, but it’s now seven months later and Cordray is still in office, and making unsuccessful personal pleas to Trump to save CFPB rules.
Now, Cordray has the best of both worlds. He’s still at the CFPB and able to lead its operations and he still has time to decide whether or not he’s going to run.
Cordray’s term at the CFPB runs through July 2018, so one way or another, he’ll be done at the CFPB then. What happens between now and then will be the result of future conversations like the one that took place this week in the Oval Office.
If Richard Cordray plans a possible 2018 run for Ohio Governor:
“If Rich Cordray runs for governor of Ohio, he would be a very strong candidate. With his record of advocating for consumers against predatory banks and credit card companies — an agenda popular with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — Cordray would tap into the economic populist vein of the electorate that Sherrod Brown and Donald Trump both tapped into in Ohio. We would hope to see a race to the top on these issues in the primary.” — Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee